No space for grief

In the shelter, a girl on her way to work in the fields

by Aniek Santema

The floor in Ouzai where Mariam lives becomes a familiar place, I know the people in this corner of the tall building and they greet me happily when I visit them. Today, the stairs that lead up to this floor are slippery and covered with garbage like empty bags of chips, chocolate wraps and orange peels. While climbing up the stairs to the third floor, I pass by some small kids with stains on their clothes, faces and hands, running and playing on the stairs. The youngest must be around 2 years old. Many of the kids walk around on bare feet, even though it is not warmer than 12 degrees today. 3 boys come down the stairs while playing loud music on one of their phones. On Mariam’s floor, I find Aziza playing with some small kids in the gallery, away from the dark rooms, getting some daylight. The colourful laundry that hangs outside to dry gives some colour to the grey building that breaths hopelessness. I follow the small, dark corridor in the left corner of the floor and knock on Mariam’s door.
(taken from fieldnotes, 6 March 2017). Lees verder

Fieldwork 2010: On the Way to Jerusalem

All photos by Gijs Verbossen

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

Anthropology and Iraq

American sergeant Nick Crosby helps an Iraqi woman cross a water-filled street during a cordon and search mission in Al Risalah (by Army.mil)
Al Risalah, Iraq, May 8, 2007 (by Army.mil)

I would like to react briefly to Lahay Hussein’s talk as well as to the concerns expressed in her earlier post. These concerns are primarily about (re)building a healthy and democratic political and social order, and within it a healthy academic discipline and educational system, from a condition in which academic qualifications and infrastructure are sorely inadequate. She expects this process to be inspired and aided by colleagues and institutions in the West.

These concerns are very different from the preoccupations of Western anthropologists when it comes to Iraq: imperialism; the complicity of anthropology in the occupation (a term Lahay herself disagrees with, preferring to use the term liberation); and, more generally, the expectation of staking out a critical anthropological position from a Middle Eastern/Muslim perspective vis-a-vis Western concepts (à la Lila Abu-Lughod, for example).

Lees verder