Myanmar anthropologists dismissed

By Maaike Matelski – In this picture, anthropology students from Yangon University show the ‘three fingers salute’ for democracy. Students and university staff across Myanmar have been protesting against the recent military takeover. Since the coup of 1 February, the military has seized control of dozens of schools and university campuses. It has used lethal force against peaceful protestors, resulting in at least 860 deaths, including many university students. Over 5000 students, teachers, journalists and other dissidents have been arrested, as well as a small number of Westerners. Australian academic (and adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD government) Sean …

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Military coup in Myanmar: back to square one?

In the early morning of 1 February, the day that a newly elected government was supposed to convene, Myanmar’s military staged a coup, taking government leaders captive and seeking control of the country. The takeover was announced on national television, followed by intermittent disruptions in internet and other media. Military leader Min Aung Hlaing cited alleged election fraud as justification for this takeover, which is to last for at least a year. Meanwhile, the country’s elected leadership is facing charges in line with previous military fabrications: state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is charged with illegally importing walkie-talkies, while president …

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In the meantime on the other side of the world…

By Marina de Regt     While we were all busy watching the US elections in the first week of November, an armed conflict broke out on the other side of the world, in the already turbulent and instable Horn of Africa. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for his efforts to bring about peace between the almost 20-year stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea, ordered a military offensive in response to an attack launched by the TPLF (the Tigray People’s Liberation Front) on the national defence force. It resulted in hundreds of deaths amongst whom …

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Webinar: Ethnographic encounters with morality, crisis and extractivism in Venezuela

The complex humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has caused more than five million Venezuelans to flee their country. In turn, Venezuelans that stay have developed multiple subsistence strategies, ranging from remittances, emergency gold extraction and resale of dollars and gasoline. These improvised survival practices create opportunity and insecurity in multiple sites of economic and environmental activity. In a webinar organized by the ISR lab Infrastructure, sustainability and commons we investigate what anthropology can add to the timely debates on economic crisis, natural resource extraction and environmental threats. In conversation with social anthropologists Iselin Åsedotter Strønen (University of Bergen) and Matt Wilde …

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© Indrid_Cold (https://www.flickr.com/photos/fredisonfire/49655326671/), via Creative Commons.

Corona choices

BY FREEK COLOMBIJN Rumours, new societal practices, new state policies and self-imposed restrictions by organizations spread as fast as the Corona virus itself. It is almost certain that by the time this blog is published, or even by the time I stop writing, the situation has changed. What is clear: it is the rapid pace of the infection that is the biggest challenge for society, more than the lethality of the virus itself. Health systems run the risk of not being able to give large numbers of patients the necessary intensive care, hospitals are short of respirators, and health care …

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On the Brink of a Pandemic; “World, jiāyóu”

BY JOP KOOPMAN The city of Wuhan, ground zero of the coronavirus, is 6 six days under lockdown when residents take to WeChat and start to suggest that they should chant uplifting phrases from their apartment windows to one and another. The participants decide that at 20:00 p.m. on the 28th of January the chanting commences. As planned, the participants take to the windows and start to chant: Wuhan, jiāyóu!” from apartment to apartment, to building to building, filling the air with words of solidarity. A sense of harmony that’s unique and powerful in times of crisis.  A video shot …

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Bolivia – terwijl het stof nog niet is neergedaald

DOOR TON SALMAN De mensen in het land demonstreren, vloeken, vechten, tieren en vieren. President Morales, reeds veertien jaar aan de macht, trad gisteren, zondag 10 november 2019, af – drie weken na een omstreden nieuwe verkiezingsoverwinning. Hij lichtte toe dat hij dat deed om verdere confrontaties tussen zijn mede- en tegenstanders te vermijden. Het zag er inderdaad lelijk uit op de Boliviaanse straten en pleinen, de afgelopen weken: leden van “het andere kamp” werden niet alleen uitgemaakt voor rotte vis, ze werden ook gemolesteerd, geslagen, er werd brand gesticht in huizen en partijbureaus. Er vielen drie doden en 200 …

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Mass protests in Ecuador: what news media don’t report

BY CAROLINE VAN SLOBBE This week, I have experienced the specific scent and feel of teargas for the first time. It is in first instance itchy, as if someone put pepper in your nose and eyes. Then it starts to hurt. You cannot breath normally and you start to cry. You want to run away, preferably to the nearest fire. The smoke helps, but it takes time before you’re back to normal. That stuff is not innocent, like you often hear on the news about protests, mostly elsewhere in the world. It doesn’t kill initially, but it does make people …

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De CEU countdown is begonnen #OccupyKossuth

door Georgette Veerhuis             Het is alweer bijna twee jaar geleden dat ik meeliep met een enorme protestmars in Boedapest, waar zo’n 80,000 man op af kwam, om te demonstreren tegen de verontrustende zet van de Hongaarse overheid, met de Fidesz partij en minister-president Viktor Orbán aan kop, jegens de Central European University (CEU). Hier schreef ik al eerder een blog over. Deze demonstratie kon zoveel momentum krijgen omdat het niet zozeer alleen om CEU gaat, maar vooral om hoe de verwijdering van CEU en andere beangstigende grillen van de huidige Hongaarse politiek. Waar ik mij toen begaf in een hoopvolle …

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