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. Lees verder →
In de Berlijn Blogs doet antropologiestudente Mirjam Dorgelo verslag van haar veldwerk in Berlijn. Waarom Berlijn? “Omdat het een stad is waar geschiedenis en herinneringen rondspoken”, schrijft ze op haar blog. “Een stad waar plaatsen tot symbolische plekken verworden. Een stad die ruim twintig jaar na de val van de Berlijnse Muur nog steeds verdeeldheid in zich herbergt. Een stad waar niet wordt opgehouden met bouwen. Een stad waar op bijna elke straathoek wel een herdenkingsmonument te vinden is. Lees verder →
Anna-Riikka Kauppinen reports from Ghana regarding her research on beauty centers. This post is part of the fieldwork 2010 series.
Shea butter is warming up in my hands. I rub my palms together in order to dissolve the waxy texture into a soft and glowing substance. Akosua, 3 years old, is sitting still on the bed. I start applying the cream over her tiny body. First come the shoulders, neck and back. She raises her hands so that I can rub the armpits and stands up to let me work on the belly, buttocks, tights, legs, feet and toes. Lastly, I gently rub her cheeks and forehead.
Fieldwork could be compared with what Virginia Woolf calls balancing between “moments of being” and “moments of non-being”. Lees verder →
By Rachel VisscherThe colour of the hat was brown, the kind of brown a nice piece of chocolate has.
Every Sunday during the church sermons the chocolate-brown hat encapsulated my head. Its shape reminded me of the hats that are often seen in old twenties’ movies. Classical, yet slightly funny on the sides, a hat worn by the heroine of a film, an intriguing woman with a pale skin and smoky eyes.
The smoky eyes I did not have. They would not have been allowed in the orthodox Dutch Reformed church around which my anthropological fieldwork revolved. The pale skin, however, I did have, as an inevitable consequence of three months of fieldwork during wintertime. Lees verder →
Our Master student Gijs Verbossen conducted field research in the occupied territories of Palestine. He lived in a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank, adjacent to the city of Nablus. He focused on young Palestinian refugees’ experience of Israel’s occupation. In this photo reportage Gijs gives an eye-witness account of a violent encounter between Palestinians and the Israeli army.
From Nablus buses go to all destinations within the West Bank. They do not go across the separation wall, which Israel built on Palestinian land, annexing territory within the West Bank’s borders of 1967. Public buses cannot go inside Israel, because almost no Palestinians have a permit to cross the wall. Jerusalem for them is inaccessible. Foreigners are able to cross the wall, entering Israel. I had an appointment in Jerusalem today, March 20th. I took the bus from Nablus, passing Ramallah, to Qalandia; one of the largest checkpoints between the West Bank and Israel. Lees verder →
In this part of the series, Laura finally reveals her research topic.
You have all beenwaiting. Now is the time. I did research among the CHECHENS!!! Or the Noxchi, which is the name they use to refer to themselves. You might have guessed it… that’s where the ‘N’ referred to in my mysterious posts. Why were they mysterious, Laura? Well… Lees verder →
A few weeks ago I told you about my arrival, getting settled and first contacts with the ‘N’. Some of you have inquired about this mysterious group – who are they, what am I doing here? Although I can answer the second question, and will try to do so in this post, I will not disclose what group it is I am doing research among. This is for security reasons. The ‘N’ have received some harsh treatment in the past and me mixing with them and gathering data about that, well, I’m just not quite sure if the authorities applaud that. Once I’m back in April, I’ll make it public, promised! Lees verder →
In part 4 of the fieldwork 2010 series, Francien Barske tells us how it is to go back to highschool…
Over the past seven weeks, I have been researching Hyves misuse and online identity forming among young adolescents in two Dutch high schools, one in Amsterdam and one in Limburg. How does the social network site Hyves influence identity forming of young adolescents in the Netherlands and how do adolescents use Hyves-pages for creating new (online) relationships or misuse it as a tool for e-bullying? Not the most common research topic when thinking of Social & Cultural Anthropology, however, very ‘hot’ at the moment and not boring at all!
The first days of my research were, of course, terrifying, even though I am staying in the Netherlands, I felt like a stranger. Lees verder →
In part 3 of the Fieldwork 2010 series Master’s student Katie Rabar tells us about her first impressions as a researcher of asylum seekers in Holland.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve found in finding a research site is that I only speak one language fluently. For me that’s English, and I chose to conduct my research here in the Netherlands, in Noord Holland, looking at how asylum seekers experience and construct ‘home’. I speak only a tiny bit of Dutch and I’ve sat through hours of classes at my fieldsite where every language was being spoken but English. This means putting into practice all the language skills I have acquired growing up, and I am able to understand a variety of languages with some proficiency but responding… well, not so easy. Lees verder →
In part 2 of this series, Laura van Deventer looks back on her first weeks of fieldwork in Russia.
I will live in Russia’s capital city for three months, as part of my master’s program in anthropology, to find out how a group of people that I will refer to as the N., is living here.
Initially, it was arranged for me to live in a pension run by the company where a friend’s father works. This turned out to be very expensive. Using the network of friends and family, another room was organised for me. Now I live with a Russian lady, Nina, her 30 year-old son, and their dog called Brunhilde. Nina told me that the grandmother was a spy for the KGB in Poland. Then her son said: “You’re drinking your tea from a FSB-mug: ‘souvenir.’” Wow, until now I have only read about these things. Now I’m living right in the middle of it. I might as well be a Bond-girl! Lees verder →
Begin januari zijn onze masterstudenten antropologie vertrokken voor hun veldwerk. Gedurende drie maanden zullen zij eigen onderzoek uitvoeren in verre oorden als Peru, Indonesië en Ghana maar ook in plaatsen dichterbij huis als Berlijn, Amsterdam en Genemuiden. Hun onderzoeken zullen de thematische verscheidenheid binnen de antropologie weerspiegelen en een groot vat aan kennis opleveren over stedelijk leven, inheemse groepen, politiek conflict, mediagebruik, religie en nog veel meer. In onze nieuwe serie Veldwerk 2010 zullen we verslag uitbrengen van de eerste ervaringen van deze studenten in het veld op basis van hun eigen verslagen, blogs en interviews.
In deel 1 laten we Mandy Ronda (25) aan het woord, die vlak voordat ze voor haar onderzoek naar Brazilië vertrok werd geïnterviewd door haar plaatselijke krant. Dit stuk is geschreven door Caitlin Meyer en verscheen op 28 december in de IJmuider Courant. Lees verder →