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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Anthropology without airplanes

BY PETER VERSTEEG AND HERBERT PLOEGMAN “The Future is a Metaphor” – Ursula K. Le Guin “You have a video conference in twenty minutes,” the voice on the phone says. “You will receive the holocall on the left side of your room. “Alright Pieter, thank you,” the Anthropologist replies to the work unit’s secretary. It’s odd, he thinks, while putting down his phone. We now have excellent audiovisual connections with faraway places, but still use the same smart devices people have been using since 2005. Of course, the older ones are fossils compared to what we are able to do …

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