Colloquium in Brussels to celebrate 50 years of Independence of Burundi (picture by Lidewyde)
By Lidewyde Berckmoes Two weeks ago I was invited to give a talk in a colloquium organised in Brussels in light of the 50 years of Independence of Belgium’s former colony. The colloquium, with the title ‘at the cross-roads,’ was organised in the beautiful Palais d’Egmont, giving the meeting a very formal but also celebratory aura. Speakers and guests invited were mostly prominent Belgian and Burundian diplomats, scholars, and civil society representatives: for instance, two former presidents, the ambassador, and a professor who has been publishing about Burundi since the 1960s. I was well aware of my somewhat different standing, but felt honoured to be one of the speakers. Finally, I thought, I could share my research findings on the predicaments of youth with people who may actually have some influence in Burundi!
Excited about my upcoming adventure in Brussels, I was chatting about it with a few of my youth interlocutors over the internet. One of them, a very talented young student, answered to my question on what I should not forget to say in my presentation: “I hate the idea that people in Europe think that Burundian youth do not like to work. If some of us steal or kill, it is to survive! It is hard to find a job in Buja (Bujumbura)!” Lees verder
Photo from Tianya (a Chinese online forum) taken during the Olympic torch relay, Paris 2008
By Pál Nyiri
After my inaugural lecture – in which I suggested that anthropology should study the re-emergence of shared forms of sovereignty like China’s concessions in Africa – I gave a similar talk at the British Inter-University China Centre’s conference in Manchester and then headed to the American Anthropological Association (AAA), which this year took place in Philadelphia. Our department was well represented, with five or so VU anthropologists in attendance. The AAA tends to be overwhelming, but every five years or so it’s worth making the pilgrimage, just to see what’s “in”. Lees verder