Mobility and immobility during the pandemic: Experiences on a journey from Amsterdam to Semarang

By Pamungkas (Yudha) Dewanto           As a response to the global corona crisis, authorities all over the world set strict health protocols for travelers. Focusing on the case of China, anthropologist Biao Xiang argues that the COVID-19 epidemic has triggered grid reactions: “Residential communities, districts, cities and even entire provinces act as grids to impose blanket surveillance over all the residents, minimize mobilities, and isolate themselves.” Grid reactions, he argues, are however not about community grids only; the term more generally refers to all-out, undifferentiated, war-like strategies to combat the virus. In this blog, I share how such grid reactions played …

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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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Podcast #3 is online! Guest: Haiyue (Fiona) Shan

In this episode, Puck de Boer talks to Haiyue (or Fiona, her English name) Shan, a PhD student at the Sociology department of VU University. From a holistic, multidisciplinary perspective, she investigates the experiences and challenges of Chinese migrant women in the Netherlands before, during and after they give birth, with a special focus on mental health and postpartum depression. Haiyue likes to experiment with podcasts and documentaries to collect data and disseminate her research outcomes. Topics in this podcast include:-Haiyue’s research, the importance of a multidisciplinary perspective and the role of anthropology within it.-Questions and challenges regarding pregnancy in …

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‘Humanizing’ Indonesia’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response

BY RATU AYU ASIH KUSUMA PUTRI AND PAMUNGKAS A. DEWANTO While the rich industrial countries are simply readjusting their national budgets amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the fiscal options for the middle-to-low income countries seem to be strictly limited. The Indonesian government, for instance, has undergone about USD 51 billion deficit after allocating about USD 25 billion for the health sector and other incentives for the COVID-19 relief. Unfortunately, in coping with this unprecedented crisis, the government not only experiences financial deficit but also ‘implementation deficit’ in channelling the pandemic relief. Jokowi administration relies heavily on the centralized database and numeric …

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Corona in Bangladesh

DOOR ELLEN BAL Nasrin heeft zich in haar huis teruggetrokken. Ze woont in de woning van haar ouders in Dhaka. De andere verdiepingen zijn verhuurd en zorgen voor wat inkomsten. Haar dagen besteedt ze aan het schrijven van artikelen. Af en toe brengt ze een kort bezoek aan de bazaar voor wat boodschappen. Zo snel als ze kan vlucht ze daarna haar veilige huis weer in. De opzet van de markten in Dhaka maakt social distancing onmogelijk. Onlangs maakte de regering bekend dat de lockdown is verlengd tot ten minste 15 mei. Nasrin kan het nog wel een paar weken …

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Religious extremism: vulnerability and resistance among Indonesian migrant workers in Asia

By Yudha Dewanto  After turning 16, never having stepped a foot outside of her province, Katri pushed herself to go to Malaysia. Seeking a solution to family problems, seeing the new outfits, fancy gadgets and even leased cars of friends who migrated to Malaysia earlier, and feeling that her junior high school diploma would not be sufficient to get a local job, part of her was saying, “just go!” She went to Warsan, a rich tobacco farmer who often sponsored those willing to depart to Malaysia as domestic workers. Warsan did not just finance the departure, but also connected them …

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Yellow fragmentation

By Irene Stengs. Bangkok, Sunday May 5. With hundreds of others, I am queuing to enter the restricted area around the Grand Palace where the Royal Land Procession will start at 4 PM. In this seven-kilometer procession, Thailand’s new king Vajiralongkorn (Rama X), seated on the Royal Palanquin carried by sixteen royal guards, will halt at three royal temples to pay respect to the temples’ Buddha images. The procession is part of the three-days coronation ceremonies and offers ‘the people’ the opportunity to see their monarch in real life and to pay their respect. The entrances are check points: before …

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Schilderij van Thomas Matulesia (Pattimura) en medestrijders in het Museum Siwalima, Ambon (Indonesië). Foto uit collectie Moluks Historisch Museum, Den Haag.

Pattimura dag en een complexe Molukse loyaliteit

Door Fridus Steylen. April en juni zijn hoogtijmaanden voor aandacht voor de geschiedenis van Molukkers in Nederland. Op 25 april wordt de proclamatie van de Republik Maluku Selatan, de vrije Zuid-Molukse republiek, in 1950 gevierd. Op 11 juni 1977 werd de gekaapte trein in De Punt gewelddadig ontzet, waarbij zes kapers en twee gegijzelden omkwamen. Publiciteit is gegarandeerd, zeker als er nog meer gebeurt. Zo was er dit jaar als een opwarmertje begin april protest tegen de mogelijke komst van een niet-Molukse huurder in de Molukse wijk in Heer/Maastricht. De RMS-viering in Apeldoorn kreeg extra publiciteit omdat theater Orpheus de …

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The Car Free Day in Surabaya: a pro-environment event?

By Freek Colombijn Every Sunday morning from 6 to 10 a.m. part of the main street of Surabaya is closed for all motorized traffic for an event that is called ‘Car Free Day’ (often abbreviated as CFD, Chay-Ef-Day). Car Free Days are organized in Jakarta and other major cities in Indonesia too, but I know the event best in Surabaya. I first attended the CFD as part of my research on pro-environmental behavior, but as it has turned out, it has little to do with the desire to reduce the use of the car. On the contrary. It attracts many …

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Hodeidah is being attacked, but the Western media are silent

By Marina de Regt. “Hodeidah is empty, Marina, there is no one there anymore”, says Noura to me this morning, in a short telephone conversation that is repeatedly interrupted because of the bad connection. Noura moved to Sana’a a week ago, fleeing the horrendous violence that has exploded in the city of Hodeidah since Thursday 14 June, the day before the start of Eid Al-Fitr. On that day the Saudi Led Coalition, mainly consisting of mercenaries and ground troops of the United Arab Emirates army, soldiers of the Yemeni National Army and Hiraak al-Tihama started the long planned attack on …

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