7 December: VU Amsterdam Ethnographic Film Day

aefd_bannerWhat is the value of film as medium for ethnographic fieldwork? With which dilemmas are film-making anthropologists confronted? What is the relationship between visual methods and other methods? What do visual methods contribute to research?

The Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam presents the Amsterdam Ethnographic Film Day during which we will screen ethnographic films and discuss the various theories and methods of visual anthropology. We aim to provide a platform for anthropologists and documentary makers engaging in visual anthropology to show their films and communicate their experiences with, and thoughts on, ethnographic film-making. For more information, visit our Facebook page or website. Lees verder

Pregnancies, high-school drop-outs and personal struggles: The joys of anthropological fieldwork

DSC_0327By Laetitia Simorangkir     Now that I completed my thesis (on care arrangements in South African communities), I can really say that I love anthropology and do research. But there were times I did not like my work at all. In this blog I will explain why.

“Naoko told me that Salma had come to tell her that she was pregnant. Although the women were not related, Naoko seemed to take a parental-role towards Salma.” A fellow student, who reviewed the draft of my thesis, commented on this statement saying that I should explain more about the parent-child relationship: “Don’t leave it end so flatly. I want to hear what happens between them!”. When rereading my field diary, looking for more notes on these women, I realized I did not have that much information about them. And soon I remembered why. Lees verder


Waarom vonden de Keulse aanrandingen juist op Oudejaarsavond plaats?
Een antropologisch antwoord.

KlokSpWDoor André Droogers       In alle culturen worden overgangen ritueel begeleid. Denk aan een bruiloft, bij ons van vrijgezel-lenfeest via de huwelijks-sluiting tot de huwelijksreis. De overgang gaat gepaard met afwijkend gedrag, zoals aparte kleding, maar soms ook moreel afwijkend, zoals bij het vrijgezellenfeest kan voorkomen.

Een ander voorbeeld is carnaval, als overgangsritueel naar de vastentijd. Daarbij wordt allerlei normaal gedrag omgekeerd. Deel van het spel is dat de burgemeester de sleutels van de stad overdraagt aan Prins Carnaval. Mannen verkleden zich als vrouw. Bij carnaval hoort de lichte suggestie dat afwijkingen van de normaal geldende moraal mogelijk zijn. In tussentijden staan de normale machts-verhoudingen en gewoonten even tussen haakjes. Lees verder

Time to look at girls differently

By Sophie Pape            Are you happy with your life? The way you have constructed it? What if you were born in another country? Would it be the same? It is likely that it will be quite different. Questions like these popped up while watching the documentary Time to look at girls: Migrants in Bangladesh and Ethiopia, which was shown by Marina de Regt during the EASA Anthropology of Children and Youth Seminar on 19 November 2015. Since June 2009, this EASA Network organizes monthly meetings, which bring together students, researchers, NGOs and policy makers working with children and youth (www.anthropologyofchildren.net). Lees verder

Twee Ethiopische heldinnen

Screening at Nikat

Door Marina de Regt    “Deze film moet iedereen zien”, was de reactie toen we Time to Look at Girls: Migrants in Bangladesh and Ethiopia afgelopen woensdag aan een groep jonge sekswerkers in Addis Ababa lieten zien. Ze hadden doodstil naar de film zitten kijken, sommigen konden hun tranen niet bedwingen, anderen keken af en toe slinks naar Tigist, een van de hoofdpersonen in de film. Tigist had de film al meerdere malen gezien en liet geen emotie zien. Na afloop legde ze uit waarom ze had besloten aan de film mee te doen en vertelde ze welke problemen ze bij het filmen tegen was gekomen. Lees verder

“No faggot, just nuts”


by Pál Nyíri

Around ten years ago I took some Chinese friends to the former royal castle in Gödöllö, near Budapest. We came upon a photo studio where you could dress up in costume from Queen Sisi’s era. My friends’ daughter, then around ten, donned the garb of a noble young lady; I dressed up as her governess. The photo was a hit, and recently it got into the hands of my three-year-old son. He wanted one too. The castle’s website informed us that the studio was still there. Off we went with my wife and my son. Lees verder

A regular club night, but not for me


By Ila Luijten         For my master’s research I’ve gone to Bali, Indonesia, to do fieldwork. My aim is to get an insight into the lives of sex workers, mostly freelance sex workers; the girls who go to clubs in the tourist destinations of Bali to look for money by spending a night with a guy. Here I will describe one night of fieldwork.

In the second week of fieldwork, I came in contact with Lola (23) and Dewi (22)*, two Indonesian friends living in Kuta, Bali. One Thursday evening in January I went for a night out with these girls to their favourite club, Sky Garden. 

That morning, I was a bit nervous about my night with the girls, so I send Lola a text message to be sure if we were still on for the night. She responded quickly and told me to meet her at 1 a.m. in front of Sky Garden. Around eleven in the evening Lola sent me a text message asking if I wanted to come over to her place for some drinks. I jumped under the shower, got dressed and looked for her address on the GPS in my phone. It would be half an hour’s drive. On the way I bought some beers for us.

Lees verder