Mourning for Amina, Mourning for Yemen

By Marina de Regt. “Marina, if I die, will you then forgive me for all the trouble that I caused you?” my Yemeni friend Amina wrote me ten days ago. I have known Amina since my very first days in Yemen in 1991 and was in regular touch with her via Whatsapp. “I am very ill, I have Corona, please help me, Marina, I am going to die, the treatment of Corona is very expensive, please help me”. A few weeks earlier Amina had written me that Corona was spreading in Rada’, the small town in Northeast Yemen where I …

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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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A picture of a trocha through which David passes almost every day to reach Cúcuta.

Localising the Pandemic: Understanding Global Disruption through Online Media

by Maddalena Conte It does not happen every day that a worldwide crisis completely overturns a discipline’s research methods, giving no choice but to experiment with new practices. This is exactly what is going on in anthropology due to the Covid-19 pandemic: by not being able to go “in the field”, which, anyways, would probably be empty, ethnographers need to expand their methodological horizons, and, together with most areas of life, take research online. In my case, as a second-year Cultural Anthropology student, I gladly accepted Professor Eva van Roekel’s offer to assist her in pioneering social media research, on …

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“Actually it’s pretty chill”: taking and giving online education

by Anne and Freek Colombijn The corona lockdown has forced schools and universities to switch to online teaching. While we recognize the often justified complaints voiced by many students at universities and schools of higher vocational education (HBO), we have discovered many advantages of online teaching as well. We have gained this experience with online education as student of pedagogical science at Leiden University and a teachers’ college at the Leiden School of Higher Vocational Education (Anne) and teacher at the anthropology department of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Freek). We do not claim that our views are better and happily admit …

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Podcast # 2 is online! Guest: Aleeha Ali

In this episode, Puck de Boer talks with Aleeha Ali, who studied sociology in Pakistan, did a research master’s in anthropology in the UK and is currently a PhD candidate at the department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the VU. Topics include:-Aleeha’s research on digitization of religious mourning among Shi’a Muslims in Europe – even more relevant in times of Covid-19.-Her experiences in different educational systems.-The diversification of perspectives in a postcolonial anthropology.-What characterizes anthropology and how it relates to other disciplines.-Conducting (digital) ethnographic fieldwork during a pandemic. The close listener might notice a difference in the sound quality …

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De dag die je weet dat gaat komen: ritueel in tijden van corona

DOOR IRENE STENGS Woensdag 15 april was het zover: de Koninklijke Bond van Oranje Verenigingen maakte het alternatieve programma voor Koningsdag bekend. Koningsdag 2020 zal de geschiedenis ingaan als Woningsdag. In plaats van het oorspronkelijk geplande bezoek van de koninklijke familie aan Maastricht, de vrijmarkten, de festivals en de koningsspelen, roept de bond iedereen op om vanuit zijn woning aan de viering deel te nemen. Vanuit het adagium “thuis én samen” beoogt de KBOV van Woningsdag een dag van nationale saamhorigheid te maken. Deze saamhorigheid zal vorm en inhoud krijgen door middel van een aantal collectieve rituelen: Het uitsteken van …

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