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Webinar: Ethnographic encounters with morality, crisis and extractivism in Venezuela

The complex humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has caused more than five million Venezuelans to flee their country. In turn, Venezuelans that stay have developed multiple subsistence strategies, ranging from remittances, emergency gold extraction and resale of dollars and gasoline. These improvised survival practices create opportunity and insecurity in multiple sites of economic and environmental activity.

In a webinar organized by the ISR lab Infrastructure, sustainability and commons we investigate what anthropology can add to the timely debates on economic crisis, natural resource extraction and environmental threats. In conversation with social anthropologists Iselin Åsedotter Strønen (University of Bergen) and Matt Wilde (University of Leicester), we will discuss the nexus of extractive societies, grassroots politics, kinship and social responsibility in contemporary Venezuela through the anthropological lens of morality. How do individuals perceive everyday ethics in periods of rapid and contradictory social and economic change? What role do natural resources play in local imaginations of wellbeing and prosperity? What can we learn from the Venezuelan crisis about corporate social responsibility and energy companies?

Afterwards there will be an online discussion with the audience convened by Eva van Roekel and Marjo de Theije.

When? 12 November 2020, 14.00-16.00h.

To join the online discussion, please register at

Eva van Roekel is Assistant Professor and Marjo de Theije is Full Professor and Research Director, both work at the Social and Cultural Anthropology department of VU Amsterdam.

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