Introducing: Anthrocine

by Jasper Schotte Anthrocine is the film club of the anthropology department -for students, and organised by students and faculty members.  An important film or documentary is screened each month, with a panel discussion and Q&A afterwards. Everyone who wants to enjoy a good film and widen their perspective is welcome! On June 24, Anthrocine showed with great success the documentary White Cube in VU Rialto for the last screening of the academic year 2021-2022.  In the documentary, director Renzo Martens addresses the horrible living conditions of Congolese plantation labourers working for Unilever. A history of violence and cultural appropriation intertwines …

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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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Half for me and the rest for the bees

This short essay is based on IDFA documentary Honeyland. By Salma Bel Lahdab El Hommad Hatidze Muratova, a fiftyish-year-old Turkish speaking woman, accompanied by her old mother and her precious bees, lives in the middle of a mountain in Macedonia. Hatidze is very careful and patient with her bees, she gently talks to them, extracts the honey that she needs from them and replaces the bees in their hive.“Half for me and the rest for the bees”, she says. This is her philosophy to take honey from the bees. Once she has prepared 5kg of raw honey, she goes downtown …

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‘Wasted hours in the field’ as a key to understanding the research topic

By Herbert Ploegman  Originally attributed to Winston Churchill, the statement “never waste a good crisis” has become an aforism that, by now, has been appropriated by many voices. The expression carries several layers, all of which contribute to its perceived versatility. Applying the statement to a research field in contemporary Greece may seem ironic or cynical, given the state of ‘crisis’ the country has gone through (or is currently under). Nevertheless, I feel confident enough to do this without too many scrupules. As an anthropologist having spent almost a year in Greece throughout the past few years, I believe that …

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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 …

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It’s hard to ignore a camera

By Matthias Teeuwen      On Thursday 3 December 2015 the department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the VU held its first ever Ethnographic Film Festival. Throughout the day ten films were screened in the Church Hall of the university, each followed by a short Q&A session with the filmmakers. What struck me during the screenings was the question: What is the difference between a documentary and an ethnographic film? What is the difference between making films in order to raise awareness about the plight of a group of people and making films in order to make a visual …

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De Berlijn Blogs: Fieldwork Documentary

By Mirjam Dorgelo  In my research I examined the practices of place, memory and belonging amongst former political prisoners who now work as tour guides at the very place they used to be imprisoned: the former secret Stasi prison in Berlin Hohenschönhausen. This short fieldwork documentary shows some of the dynamics of spatial characteristics and commemorative practices I observed during fieldwork. It depicts how the visible and invisible, the spoken and unspeakable sometimes become difficult to discern. In my MA thesis I addressed more extensively these dynamics of commemorative and spatial practices and the various paradoxes I encountered.

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Making of: documentary of the release of a Mexican prisoner

So much is happening at our department, that we can’t keep track of it ourselves sometimes. Suddenly, Joan, a PhD student who is doing research on violence,  masculinity and substance abuse in Mexico, was gone to make a documentary about the release of a Mexican prisoner that she had been planning a long time. A report by Joan van Wijk.

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