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Tag: development

Whose Development? A Critical Lens on Development in Africa and Madagascar.

Photo by Sandra Evers

By Aliene van Dijk I still remember vividly the expectations that I had of visiting one of the libraries supposedly holding anthropological studies in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo. I naively thought that even in a country as poor as Madagascar, at least the library would be decent. But it proved quite a deception. In a small one-room building, with walls covered in old books, I found out that reality was different. Sitting on the floor and looking through a very old-fashioned cabinet of cards to look up relevant material, my research partner and I found none. It would probably be interesting for a historian, since the books were so old, but for present-day anthropological fieldwork it was not very useful. ‘How can they study in these circumstances?’, I thought.

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Altruism or Egoism, an Elegy for Development Projects

A few days ago I was watching a late night Dutch talk show (Knevel & Van den Brink) in which politicians, scholars, writers, artists and other generally well known persons discuss current events in the world. In this particular broadcast two self-proclaimed development workers operating in Kenya were invited to join the table . A few days ago they had been violently assaulted and robbed of their money, phones and digital cameras by a bunch of, what they accuse to be, local people. Supposedly the same people who are benefitting from the hard efforts of the couple in improving the educational sector in the area. They narrated the event with profound self-pity, it must have been a horrible experience for them indeed, and they could not possibly understand the grave injustice that has been brought upon them.

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