Announcing the Wenner-Gren Fellowship in Anthropology and Black Experiences

Wenner-Gren Fellowship in Anthropology and Black Experiences

In partnership with the School for Advanced Research (SAR), the Wenner-Gren Foundation is sponsoring one nine-month residential fellowship open to PhD-holding anthropologists of all ranks.

This fellowship aims to expand the anthropological conversation and build capacity in anthropology by amplifying perspectives previously under-represented in the discipline.

We are eager to support individuals whose research draws on Black studies, critical race studies, diasporic Africana studies, the vernacular insights of communities of color, and other sources of inspiration growing out of global Black experiences to advance new lines of scholarship in any of anthropology’s subfields.  We hope to attract applicants working in a diverse range of sites, including but not limited to Black communities.

Applicants should show how this support will enable them to succeed at a critical juncture in their career and alter their trajectory in the field. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents.

The successful applicant will join a cohort of scholars at SAR in Santa Fe, New Mexico. SAR especially welcomes applicants willing to spend the fellowship term on our residential campus in Santa Fe, but the program is also willing to consider applications from those who can only participate through a combination of remote gatherings and an in-person residency of several weeks.

Fellows receive a stipend of $50,000. Resident scholars also receive low-cost housing and free office space at the SAR campus. Fellows who opt not to relocate receive a travel subsidy covering the cost of short-term in-person residency at the SAR campus.

The deadline for applications is November 1, 2021, for a fellowship starting in September 2022. For more information, please contact scholar@sarsf.org.

Learn more about the fellowship.

Find out how to apply.

HealthXCross Postdoctoral Position, 3 Years (12 Months, Renewable)

Deadline for application: 28 June 2021.
Starting of the position: 1st October 2021.
Host institution: Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy

TO APPLY: https://www.unive.it/data/29530/

We are pleased to announce a postdoctoral position available on the project, HealthXCross “Remaking Health in a Microbial Planet by Crossing Space, Time, Species and Epistemic Cultures”, funded by the European Research Council (ERC), 2021-2026 (Starting grant): https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/949742/it

HealthXCross is an ethnographic study of transnational and interdisciplinary open-data platforms that compare and aggregate microbial data across time, space, species and disciplines. These platforms aggregate – through advanced AI technology – microbial data with other kinds of data (medical, environmental, social etc…) to intervene in both environmental and human health. HealthXCross main objective is to analyse how health comes to be reconfigured through these platforms.

We look for a postdoctoral researcher who will focus on one selected platform with a One Health approach in partnership with an important technological hub for the aggregation of data, She/he will analyse, within the ‘One/planetary health’ theoretical debate, the interplay between ‘data governance’ of open-data and ‘data epistemology’. ‘Data epistemology’ refers to the biopolitics of knowledge at play in One/planetary health, an approach that aims at blurring the boundaries between disciplines and between humans and non-humans. Themes to be analysed by the researcher: politics and practices of open-data; interdisciplinary and data science; biopolitics of One/planetary health at the interface between human and non-human health.

What a postdoc with the HealthXCross team offers:

  • to be part of a collaborative, ambitious, friendly and caring team
  • opportunity to make research on a timely and relevant topic with an applied potential
  • a gross salary of EUR 26 050/year (approx. EUR 1 900/month after taxes)
  • funding for fieldwork and conference travel

What we expect from the postdoctoral research fellow:

  • a PhD in Socio-cultural Anthropology, or Philosophy, Sociology (or cognate disciplines), and ethnographic and theoretical expertise in social studies of data; medical/environmental anthropology; One/planetary health
  • To be able to work independently – in dialogue with the PI and the team – and demonstrated capacity to produce results (present papers at international conferences, publish articles in high quality journals, and contribute to public communication (website, social media)
  • Ethnographic experience, also in interdisciplinary teams. A collaborative attitude is required because the aim of the project is to produce useful knowledge both for the community under study and for the scholarly community at large
  • Very good command of English, both written and spoken

If you wish to have more information or discuss your ideas on how to contribute to the project, do not hesitate to contact the PI of the project Roberta Raffaetà (roberta.raffaeta@unive.it) prior to submitting the application.

Survey of Wenner-Gren Applicants and Grantees

Have you applied for a Wenner-Gren grant in the past five years?  If so, we’d love to have your input.  We’ve distributed a survey that asks about you, your history with Wenner-Gren, and your willingness to help us reach a broader community of scholars.  Your input will help us do a better job of advancing anthropological research, addressing the precarity of anthropology and anthropologists, and fostering an inclusive vision of the field.  Thanks in advance for your help!

Engaged Anthropology Grant: Peter Little

FIGURE 1: Ibrahim Interviewing Abrahim in Agbogbloshie, an e-waste worker from Savelugu.

In 2016 Dr. Peter Little received a Post-Ph.D. Research grant to aid research on, “An Ethnographic Political Ecology of Electronic Waste Recycling and Risk Mitigation in Accra, Ghana”. Then in 2020 Dr. Little received an Engaged Anthropology Grant to aid engaged activities on, “Virtual Ethnographic Interpretations of E-Waste Work in Ghana in Uncertain COVID-19 Times.”

This engaged anthropology project stemmed from work carried out during a previous post-PhD research grant (“An Ethnographic Political Ecology of Electronic Waste Recycling and Risk Mitigation in Accra, Ghana”). During the grant period (January 2021-March 2021) I was able to accomplish most of the goals set out in my original proposal. First, I was able to engage in virtual ethnographic interpretation exercises with selected members of the village of Savelugu in Ghana’s Northern Region to learn how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the lives of Ghana’s e-waste workers. I hired two community researchers to conduct follow-up  interviews with community members to get a sense for how the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting their lives, and some of these interviews, as depicted in Figures 1 and 2, were video recorded. The community researchers also photo-documented recent COVID-19 public messaging and handwashing infrastructure at Agbogbloshie (see Figures 3, 4, and 5). Throughout the grant period, I maintained contact with my community research partners via WhatsApp and Facebook.

FIGURE 2: Ibrahim interviewing Savelugu businesswomen.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I had assumed that many e-waste workers from Savelugu would seek alternative work, but according to interviews conducted by the community researchers, that was not the case. As the price of copper climbed (now around $4 USD a pound), the e-waste recycling sector experienced a boom as a result of a rise in demand in the global scrap metal supply chain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another goal of the grant was to collaborate remotely with members of Savelugu to translate key research findings from previous ethnographic fieldwork into Dagbani, the local language. I hired a community researcher whose task was to translate e-waste environmental health narratives. This is important because all the literature on e-waste in Ghana is currently in English and so having it translated into Dagbani would surely help village elders better understand the risks and challenges these e-waste workers face. In February 2021, my research collaborators helped translate collected interview data. For the first time, members of the Savelugu community were able to see e-waste narratives translated into Dagbani (see Figure 6).

Figure 6

 

“Pain in here [points to ribs and heart]. The   stomach hurt. Chop [food], small small.”

 

“My chest hurts. Hard to sleep. Eyes be hurt, be  burning.”

 

“Sometimes my body burns. The copper smoke disturbs me. At night I wake up 2 or 3 times because of heat. My son Martin also sick. He got malaria. He is disturbed by the smoke and is stuffed up all the time.”

 

“My body is no good. Fire work is hard work for here.”

 

“The fire and smoke disturbs me. The chest hurts. I not go to Korle Bu [Hospital] for check up.”

 

“No good breathing. Plus my stomach hurt from small chop. Nobody come to help us with health. They test only the senior scrap workers here.”

 

“The smoke hurts my lungs. It disturb my lungs.”

 

“The smoke disturbs me. The fire heat hurt. The fire makes the head hot. I went to Korle Bu one month ago to check my health. No blood test.

Nobody comes here to test you.”

 

“I have trouble sleeping. Chest hurts. The heat bother me. I have medicine for chest pain. The water is hot (water used to cool down hot copper) and hurts the skin. It get in my eyes and burn.”

 

“My chest burn. I take medicine for cough. I also get cut and burned.”

 

“Kpɛ ka bɛrim bɛ. Puli maa bɛra. Dim bela bela”

 

“N nyoɣu n bɛra. N bɛ tooi gbɛhira. N nina n kumda ka zabira”

 

 

“saha sheŋa n ningbuna ku dirila boɣum. Kuriti maa Nyohi maa bobrima mi. Yuŋ kam buyi bɛi Buta ka tulim ŋo nɛri ma. N dapal Matinu gba ka alaafɛ. Malaria n gbaa gi o. Nyohi maa bobri o pam ka che ka fɛwufɛwu mali o saha sheli kam.”

 

“N ningbuna be niŋ ma nyaɣsim. Buɣum tuma mali wahala”.

 

“ ti bi vuhiri vɛyelinga. Ka bindira maa gba bɛri n puuni. Ashibti tun’tumdiba bi kaari ti. Ti kpambi maa kɔ ka bi yuuna.”

“Nyohi maa bɛrila n nyoɣu ni. Di bobrila n nyoɣu”.

“Nyohi maa bobri ma mi. Tulim maa nyori mi. ka buɣum maa che ka zugu biira. Goli so ŋɔn kpi la ni n daa cheŋ Korle Bu ni n ti lihi n daa alaafɛ zuɣu. n daa bi voogi n ʒɛm.

 

“Ashibti tun’tumdiba bi kanna  n ti kaari ya”.

 

“n bi tooi gbehira. Nyo’moɣli. Tulum maa bobri ma mi. n mali nyoɣu ni tim. Kom maa tuli mi (ko’sheli din maari kur’tula)

 

 

Finally, a goal of this engaged anthropology grant was to develop a photo exhibit in the primary school in Savelugu to help teach village youth about the life experiences and risks faced by Ghana’s e-waste workers. This is still an ongoing project and the exhibit will hopefully be up in a local school in Savelugu by the end of the summer. Thus far, I have worked with my community collaborators to select a series of photographs from the project to be used for this photo exhibit. These photographs have been re-sized and printed on foam board and were shipped to Savelugu in early May 2021. See some of the selected photographs in Figures 7, 8, and 9.

 

Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship: Diana Szanto

We’re excited and proud to share the trailer and blog post from Diana Szanto who received a Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship to aid filming Manish.

Manish

Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship

From 2008 to 2016 I studied development in Sierra Leone, from a particular angle: that of disability. Originally focusing on the role of NGOs, my attention progressively shifted toward local civil society. I got interested in self-organized disabled communities. My encounters in this world led me to a group of disabled musicians to whom I became attached by long lasting ties of friendship. As I was drafting my thesis, I thought it best to keep my personal life out of my ethnography. Retrospectively, it was a bad idea, but nervous doctoral students do not always make judicious decisions. Luckily, I also realized that my time spent in the company of my friends was probably the most precious part of my learning process. Silencing this experience seemed to be too much of a loss and so I came to the idea of transforming it into something more accessible than an anthropology book. I started to use two complementary methodologies: collecting field notes for a book, supposedly for an academic audience and footages destined to become a film for a larger audience. At the end, I abandoned the assumption of artificial boundaries separating imaginary audiences, but the two types of material yielded indeed two different results: a book and a film. The book (Politicising Polio in Sierra Leone) came out at the end of 2019.  The film became a collective project, but for years, it stubbornly refused to materialize.

As I am not trained in visual anthropology, I needed help in filming. I asked a friend, an accomplished French documentarist, to join me in the field.  He recruited a small but heteroclite crew, which came to visit me in Sierra Leone in 2009, 2010 and 2011. We collected more than 30 hours of footages. Shootings took place almost exclusively following the haphazard daily movements of our protagonists. Plans, if they existed at all, had to be frequently changed. For long, it remained a mystery even for us what kind of film this material can make, if only because our protagonists also frequently changed their minds about what they wanted to see represented. Several crises – of hermeneutical and personal nature – discouraged us from getting the job done.

By 2017, we had definitely gave up ever finishing the film. Then suddenly we changed our minds. That year our main protagonist died. His death put an end to a long hesitation and gave us a new impetus to leave a visual trace of his life. In agreement with the rest of the group in Sierra Leone, we decided to dedicate the film to the homage of our lost friend. What was a strong but materially baseless intention, became a realistic possibility thanks to the Wenner-Gren Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship.

We started to work in the beginning of 2019. Based on a first selection accomplished collectively, I wrote the scenario. I wanted to create a multilayered film that speaks at the same time about Manish, our hero, his micro universe with its broader global entanglements, as well as about the emotional vulnerabilities of doing fieldwork in violent terrains. We worked on realizing this plan for a year. Our team is not only diverse, but also geographically dispersed. I am based in Hungary, the first cameraman, director and editor, Denis Ramos, and his assistant, second cameraman, Ferdinando Formisano, live in France and our most important consultants, the film’s surviving main characters are in Sierra Leone. We had to find a way to overcome the distance. I travelled to France three times, the rest of the time we exchanged draft versions, ideas and opinions online.  Final postproduction was done in a studio in Hungary in the summer of 2020.

The film, Manish, is a 75 minute-length documentary. It tells the story of a polio-disabled boy, who escapes the war, finds refuge, friends and hope in Freetown, remakes his life several times but does not live long enough to see his dreams realized. The film does more than rehearsing the events. It excavates and makes visible the social roots of suffering. In a counter-movement, it also attempts to understand the nature of collective happiness and the political potential inherent in hope.

We intended to embed a singular story in its local and global historical context, in order to show its universal implications. We strived for a delicate balance between allowing Manish to inhabit the front of the stage while showing enough of the back stage to produce a nuanced and multilayered contextualization.  The multiplicity of the layers complicated the story telling. We understood that it was impossible to follow the chronology without some additional information.  After some hesitation, I assumed finally the position of the narrator. In this way, my own fieldwork, the process of navigating complicated human relations, has implicitly become part of the film.

When we finished the postproduction, we thought that the biggest part of the work was behind us. We slowly realized that what was in front us was equally huge: we have to make the film live.  Our two most obvious options are festivals for recognition and VOD for wide coverage. We started to work on the first option. For a while we were hoping that festivals would start open offline but in December 2020 we gave up waiting and started to register for online screenings.  For most of them, we are still waiting for the response.  VOD marketing can start only after the festival season. In the meanwhile, we are communicating about the film on its webpage (manish-movie.org). With the site, I wanted to pay a tribute to ethnographic filmmaking. Therefore, I imagined a double function for it. On the one hand, it presents the film, on the other, it gives more information on the ethnography that grounded it with the intention to render it “teachable”.  Under the menu item “Teaching tools” the internaute will find four short edited video sequences. They illustrate 4 important themes discussed by the film and developed more in details in the book: 1, Being disabled in the South, 2, Contemporary forms of violence, 3, Expulsions, 4, Resistances. Instead of referring directly to the film’s story, the sequences introduce the viewer into the deeper intricacies of its social, political and historic background. These snapshots, although localized, are meant to nourish an analysis of current global processes, affecting in one way or another, beyond the disabled communities of Freetown, probably all of us.

This section is dedicated to teachers, activists or amateurs of self-education who want to know more about the topic. Each video is accompanied by a short text, explaining the scenes and proposing a theoretical frame for their interpretation. The texts are completed by a list of suggested questions for class discussions, a glossary explaining the concepts, as well as by a short bibliography. The four texts together provide a good enough summary of the book’s arguments and make these available for those who do not necessarily have time to read hundreds of pages.

The webpage is also a place for fundraising. A Donation button invites the visitors to contribute to a Fund established in Freetown to financially help the disabled communities to which Manish belonged. It is managed by a local NGO, One Family People, created by the protagonists of the film. 10% of all income realized by the documentary will go to the people who participated in its realization.

We had to postpone the public premiere in Sierra Leone because the crew refused to travel in the heights of the pandemic. According to a cautious new plan, maybe we can visit “Salone” in June. In Sierra Leone, disability activists will not have to wait until the film is released officially. One Family People has access to it and can screen it on demand.

Public Statement by the Network of Anthropology Programs in Colombia

Public Statement by the network of Anthropology Programs in Colombia (Note 1)

Since April 28th thousands of Colombian citizens are protesting in many parts of the
country. In both rural and urban areas, the young and old, men and women have taken
to the streets – whether individually or collectively, as associations and organizations –
to demonstrate peacefully in discontent with the country’s situation. Exercising their
constitutional right to protest, workers, members of the LGBTQIA+ community,
peasants, afro-descendants, students, indigenous peoples and a myriad of social groups
are clamoring for the National Government to listen to their demands.

This movement has been met with disproportionate violence on the part of the Armed
Forces, from the use of lethal and so-called “non-lethal” weapons against protesters to
abusive force against both the State’s own Human Rights institutions and those of
international organizations including the UN mission. (Note 2).  In just one week, such violations
and attacks on the physical, emotional and mental integrity of Colombian citizens have
resulted in deaths, wounds and atrocities committed by the Armed Forces (Police, Riot
Police -ESMAD[Note 3] – and Army). While the exact number of victims (both fatal and nonfatal)
of the public powers’ violent and unrestrained use of force remains unknown,
preliminary evidence and information bear witness to the situation’s gravity and
magnitude. (Note 4).

As Colombian citizens and academics we call for dialogue and condemn all forms of
violence. We remain persuaded that no form of violence should be used, much less
when the demands are that fundamental rights are guaranteed. We invite those
participating in the marches to continue protesting through peaceful forms of expression
and we especially demand that the National Government cease the use of force against
democratic protests.

Neither militarized street action, military occupation of residential areas nor the use of
force against citizens, the stigmatizing of protests or any other form of violence is
admissible under the democratic rule of law. Democracy depends on the legitimacy of
its institutions and cannot survive unless individual and collective freedom and Human
Rights are granted by government. The unrestrained use of physical violence on the part
of public powers seriously undermines the legitimacy of the State.

Ample and expressive processes of social mobilization, such as those which gained
momentum in 2019 and those currently underway in our country constitute a legitimate
form of protest that should be addressed through dialogue. An open and effective dialogue that recognizes their legitimacy and is committed to opening up democratic
solutions. Dialogue is much needed to solve the conflicts undermining the peace
agreements, to prevent returning to glyphosate as a means of burning down coca
plantations with its damaging effects on all other plants and forms of life, and to stop
attacks on the leaders of social movements.

We demand that the National Government cease its military response to social
discontent, grant the demilitarization of cities, refrain from stigmatizing protesters and
does not turn to the state of siege as a means of re-establishing public order, (Note 4). We also
demand that inquiries are made into allegations of assassination, disappearance,
arbitrary detentions and sexual violence and that in Human Rights and International
Humanitarian Law are preserved in all circumstances. We require for clear and effective
channels to be opened up with protesters and social organizations.

As academics and university students we occupy spaces for the construction of
knowledge, reflection and critical analysis; for this very reason it is fundamental that we
raise our voice in the face of the unrestrained violence we witness on the streets. We
express our solidarity to all the relatives of people assassinated, disappeared or attacked
in the protests. Democracy is deliberative and grants the right to dissent, so we will
continue to contribute with public debates based on building the change that our country
needs.

May 4th 2021 14h30

Signed,

Colombian Society of Anthropology-ACANT
Department of Anthropology University of Andes
Department of Anthropology University of Antioquia
Anthropology Program of the University of Caldas
Department of Anthropology of the University of the Cauca
Anthropology Program of the University of Externado
Archaeology Program of the University of Externado
Anthropology Program of the Icesi University
Department of Anthropology of the Javeriana University, Bogotá
Department of Anthropology of the National University
Anthropology Program of the University of Rosario
Anthropology Program of the University of Santander

 

Pronunciamiento de la RED de Programas de Antropología en Colombia

Desde el pasado 28 de abril, miles de ciudadanos y ciudadanas colombianos se han manifestado en diferentes lugares del país. Tanto en áreas rurales como en centros urbanos, jóvenes y adultos, mujeres y hombres –de manera individual o desde asociaciones, colectivos u organizaciones– han salido a las calles para demostrar con un sinnúmero de expresiones pacíficas su descontento ante la situación del país. En este ejercicio del derecho constitucional a la protesta, obreros, sectores de la comunidad LGBTIQIA+, campesinos, afrodescendientes, estudiantes, indígenas y otros tantos segmentos de la sociedad, han reclamado al Gobierno Nacional que sus demandas sean escuchadas.

Como respuesta a estas movilizaciones sociales, se han recibido tratos desmedidos por parte de la Fuerza Pública, que van desde el uso de armas letales y “no letales” en contra de los ciudadanos marchantes (y no marchantes), hasta abusos en contra de organismos de Derechos Humanos tanto del propio Estado, como de organizaciones internacionales como es el caso de la misión de la ONU. (Note 2). Luego de siete días, el saldo de estas violaciones, abusos y atentados en contra de la integridad física, emocional y mental de los ciudadanos se ha traducido en muertes, heridas y otros hechos cometidos por la Fuerza Pública (Policía, ESMAD [Note 3]y Ejército). Se desconoce aún el número de víctimas (mortales y no mortales) a causa del uso violento y desmedido por parte de la Fuerza Pública; no obstante, las evidencias y la información preliminar, se convierten en testimonios de su gravedad y magnitud. (Note 4).

Como ciudadanos y como académicos, convocamos al diálogo y condenamos todas las formas de violencia. Reiteramos nuestra convicción en que ninguna forma de violencia debería ser ejercida y mucho menos allí donde se reclame la vigencia de derechos. Invitamos a quienes participan de las marchas a mantener siempre las vías pacíficas de expresión, pero, sobre todo, exigimos al Gobierno Nacional el cese en el uso de la fuerza en contra de las manifestaciones ciudadanas.

Ni la militarización de las calles, ni la ocupación militar de áreas residenciales, ni el uso de la fuerza contra los ciudadanos, ni la estigmatización de la protesta, ni ninguna forma de uso de la fuerza en contra de la población civil son admisibles en un Estado de Derecho. La democracia depende de la legitimidad de sus instituciones y solo pervive en tanto las libertades y los Derechos Humanos sean garantizados por los gobiernos. El uso desmedido de violencia física por parte de la Fuerza Pública en contra de las manifestaciones ciudadanas socava la legitimidad del Estado.

Los amplios y crecientes procesos de movilización social, que tuvieron un punto álgido en noviembre de 2019, y aquellos vividos en el país en los últimos días constituyen una forma legítima de protesta, que debe ser atendida mediante el diálogo. Un diálogo abierto y efectivo, que reconozca la legitimidad de la protesta y abra mecanismos para la solución democrática de los conflictos sociales acrecentados por el desmonte de los acuerdos de paz, el retorno del glifosato y el ataque a los líderes sociales, entre otros.

Exigimos al Gobierno Nacional el cese de la respuesta militar al descontento social, la desmilitarización de las ciudades, la no estigmatización de los manifestantes, y la no declaración de estado de excepción bajo la premisa de la restauración del orden público.3 Exigimos, además, que se realicen las respectivas investigaciones en los casos denunciados de asesinatos, desapariciones, detenciones arbitrarias, violencias sexuales y, en todo caso, el estricto respeto por los Derechos Humanos y el Derecho Internacional Humanitario. Así mismo, invitamos a que se creen los canales claros y efectivos para el diálogo amplio y participativo con los manifestantes y las organizaciones sociales.

La academia y las universidades somos espacios de construcción de conocimientos, de reflexión y análisis crítico; por esta razón es imperativo levantar nuestra voz ante la violencia desmedida que estamos viendo en las calles. Nuestra solidaridad con todas las familias de personas que han sido asesinadas, desaparecidas y agredidas en medio de la protesta. La democracia es deliberación y derecho al disentimiento, por eso seguiremos contribuyendo con los debates públicos y argumentados en función de la construcción de los cambios que nuestro país necesita.

4 de mayo de 2021, 2:30 pm

Firman,

Asociación Colombiana de Antropología – ACANT
Departamento de Antropología Universidad de los Andes
Departamento de Antropología Universidad de Antioquia
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad de Caldas
Departamento de Antropología Universidad del Cauca
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad del Externado
Programa de Arqueología de la Universidad del Externado
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad Icesi
Departamento de Antropología Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad de Magdalena
Departamento de Antropología Universidad Nacional
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad del Rosario
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad de Santander
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad Surcolombiana

 

Pronunciamento da RED de Programa de Antropologia na Colômbia (Note 1)

Desde o último 28 de abril, milhares de cidadãs e cidadãos colombianos estão se manifestando em diferentes lugares do país. Tanto em áreas rurais como em centros urbanos, jovens e adultos, mulheres e homens – de maneira individual ou associativa, coletiva ou organizacional – saíram às ruas para demostrar de forma pacífica seu descontentamento com a situação do país. Ao exercer seu direito constitucional ao protesto, trabalhadores, setores da comunidade LGBTQIA+, camponeses, afrodescendentes, estudantes, indígenas e outros tantos grupos da sociedade, exigem que o Governo Nacional escute suas demandas.

A resposta a estas mobilizações tem sido uma violência desmedida por parte da Forças Nacionais, desde o uso de armas letais e “não-letais” contra manifestantes (e não-manifestantes) até abusos cometidos contra órgãos de Direitos Humanos do próprio estado e de organizações internacionais, como é o caso da missão da ONU5. (Note 2). Em sete dias, o saldo de tais violações, abusos e atentados contra a integridade física, emocional e mental dos cidadãos pode ser visto em mortes, ferimentos e outras atrocidades cometidas pelas Forças Nacionais (Polícia, ESMAD[Note 3] e Exército). Ainda é desconhecido o número de vítimas (fatais e não-fatais) das ações violentas e desmedidas do Poder Público; não obstante, evidências e informações preliminares se transformaram em testemunhos da gravidade e magnitude da situação. (Note 4).

Como cidadãos colombianos e acadêmicos, chamamos para o diálogo e condenamos todas as formas de violência. Reiteramos a nossa convicção de que nenhuma forma de violência deveria ser usada, muito menos quando se exige que direitos sejam garantidos. Convidamos aos que participam das marcham que continuem protestando por meio de formas pacíficas de expressão e, sobretudo, exigimos que o Governo Nacional cesse o uso da força contra manifestações democráticas.

Nem a militarização das ruas, a ocupação militar de áreas residenciais, o uso de força contra cidadãos, a estigmatização de protestos, nem qualquer outra forma de uso da violência contra a população civil é admissível em um Estado de Direito. A democracia depende da legitimidade de suas instituições e apenas pode sobreviver quando as liberdades (de expressão, individuais e coletivas) e os Direitos Humanos são garantidos pelos governos. O uso desmedido de violência física por parte do Poder Público contra manifestações civis prejudica a legitimidade do Estado.

Processos de mobilização social amplos e expoentes, que tiveram seu auge em novembro de 2019 e aqueles vividos no país nos últimos dias, configuram-se como uma forma legítima de protesto que deve ser atendida por meio do diálogo. Um diálogo aberto e efetivo que reconheça sua legitimidade e se comprometa a abrir canais de soluções democráticas daqueles conflitos sociais aumentado ao desmonte de acordos de paz, o retorno do glifosato e o ataque a lideranças de movimentos sociais, dentre outros.

Exigimos que o Governo Nacional cesse a resposta militar ao descontentamento social, garanta a desmilitarização das cidades, não produza a estigmatização dos manifestantes e não declare estado de exceção sob a premissa de que irá restaurar a ordem pública7. Exigimos, ainda, que sejam investigadas as denúncias de assassinatos, desaparecimentos, detenções arbitrárias, violências sexuais e que se respeitem, em todos os casos, os Direitos Humanos e os Direito Humanitário Internacional. Pedimos também que sejam criados canais claros e efetivos de diálogo amplo e participativo, compostos por manifestantes e organizações sociais.

Enquanto acadêmicos e universitários, ocupamos espaços de construção de conhecimentos, reflexão e análise crítica; por esta razão, é fundamental que levantemos a nossa voz diante da violência desmedida que estamos vendo nas ruas. Expressamos a nossa solidariedade a todas as famílias das pessoas assassinadas, desaparecidas e agredidas nos protestos. A democracia é deliberativa e garante o direito a discordâncias, por isso seguiremos contribuindo com debates públicos que sejam baseados na construção das mudanças que nosso país necessita.

4 de maio de 2020, 14h30

Assinam,

Asociación Colombiana de Antropología – ACANT
Departamento de Antropología Universidad de Andes
Departamento de Antropología Universidad de Antioquia
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad de Caldas
Departamento de Antropología Universidad del Cauca
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad del Externado
Programa de Arqueología de la Universidad del Externado
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad Icesi
Departamento de Antropología Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá
Departamento de Antropología Universidad Nacional
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad de Magdalena
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad del Rosario
Programa de Antropología de la Universidad de Santander

Note 1: Thanks to Pedro Fermin for providing this English translation and to Maira Vale for the Portuguese translation.

Note 2: https://www.elheraldo.co/colombia/denuncian-ataque-contra-la-comision-de-la-onu-en-cali-814425

See also https://www.eltiempo.com/justicia/investigacion/procuraduria-abre-indagacion-por-ataque-a-comision-humanitaria-en-cali-585828

https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/funcionarios-de-la-defensoria-del-pueblo-de-la-procuraduria-y-de-organizaciones-de-dd-hh-fueron-amenazados-por-la-fuerza-publica/202119/

Note 3: The riot control squad ESMAD constitutes a separate branch of the Colombian National Police.

Note 4: https://www.eltiempo.com/politica/gobierno/paro-nacional-2021-balance-tras-cuatro-dias-de-protesta-en-colombia-585351

https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/nacional/paro-nacional-temblores-hace-el-balance-de-la-violencia-policial-durante-las-protestas/

https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/nacional/nicolas-guerrero-brayan-nino-y-otras-16-victimas-mortales-del-paro-nacional/?utm_source=Icommarketing&utm_medium=email&utm_content=El+Despertador+04-05-21&utm_campaign=Icommarketing+-+Suscripciones+-+El+despertador+4-5-21

Save the Date! June 1st: Proposal Writing for the Wenner-Gren Foundation: Introducing the Engaged Research Grant Program

The events of 2020 have forced anthropologists to reckon with their discipline’s history and the nature of the relationships they forge through their research. They are finding themselves asking themselves hard questions about the ethical implications of the work they do.

The best way to advance knowledge in anthropology is to draw on new sources of insight. The best way to ensure anthropological research has an impact is to make sure projects are meaningful for everyone involved. By supporting projects that are collaborative from the get-go, the Wenner-Gren Foundation hopes to demonstrate the value of this new approach to research for the field more generally.

Join the Foundation’s president, Danilyn Rutherford, for a discussion of the Engaged Research Grant program. Danilyn will describe the program’s objectives, go over the criteria of evaluation, and offer tips on writing a winning proposal. There will be lots of time for questions.

This workshop will have CART captioning.

Tuesday, June 1 from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM (Eastern). Click here to register for this event.

Tuesday, June 1 from 9:00-10:30 PM (Eastern). Click here to register for this event.

 

COVID-19 Emergency Grant Fundraising Effort Meets the Challenges of the Day

Photo credits (l to r): Alessandra Rosa, Dada Docot, Dawn Burns

In 2020 the American Anthropological Association received a Global Initiatives Grant to help support the AAA Emergency Relief Fund for Anthropologists.

At the American Anthropological Association, we are committed to bringing together scholars, practitioners, educators, and the public to advance the field of anthropology and its role in the world. That is why at the onset of the COVID-19 health pandemic, we knew that many members in our community needed emergency support, and that a meaningful way to advance our mission was by ensuring they have the financial resources they need to get through this challenging moment. These are members who make valuable contributions to our field but who, by virtue of being independently employed, working in a small business, or occupying a position at the margins of a university, suddenly find themselves in a position of financial uncertainty and hardship.

The AAA Emergency Relief Fund for Anthropologists offered financially vulnerable members one-time grants and a registration waiver for the fall virtual event series, “Raising Our Voices.” Two of our sections, the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA) and the Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) also created relief funds. Over the course of a few months, we witnessed an outpouring of generosity from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, which was matched on a 9-1 basis with donations from our Board, Sections, and members around the world.

In total, we were able to raise sufficient funds to make grants to 190 individuals from 18 countries. In addition, we invited all 190 grantees to join the fall virtual event series, Raising Our Voices, which replaced the Annual Meeting that had to be canceled due to the pandemic. Funds from the COVID-19 Emergency Grant Fund were used to cover the registration fees for these individuals. The funds provided by the Wenner-Gren Foundation were disbursed to 20 individuals, all living outside the United States, in keeping with the spirit of the Foundation’s Global Initiatives Grant program.

We received a good deal of feedback from grant recipients, all of it expressing appreciation for being able to provide assistance in a time of acute need:

I am so, so grateful to have received the AAA COVID-19 Emergency Grant Fund. It really makes such a difference as a freelancer, also balancing a PhD and with lost income from this situation. Thank you for your generosity and this wonderful initiative.

Please extend my gratitude to the AAA and to the donors that made this possible.

Thank you very much for establishing this series of grants; it really means the world to know that the AAA is looking after unemployed anthropologists such as myself during this difficult period.

Thanks so much for informing me about this award, it is so helpful in this time of uncertainty and I am grateful to know that my colleagues are supporting me and others who need a little boost right now. I hope I can pay this forward in the future when I get a chance.

Thank you for the emergency grant, my family and I really need it at this time. I would also, through you, like to thank the AAA. It is my wish that in the future it will be my turn to assist, not to be assisted.

Thank you so much for this grant – it is coming right as the spring semester ends and helps fill the gap while I figure out what my next employment can be.

The global disruptions brought about by the pandemic and associated public health interventions were abrupt and precipitous. Recovery is proving to be much slower and uneven. The Foundation’s willingness to step in and strengthen the fabric of the safety net supporting some of the more vulnerable members of our anthropology community will almost certainly mean that as we make sense of this profoundly influential moment, anthropologists who might otherwise have had to seek their livelihoods elsewhere will be around to contribute to this sense-making.

Webinar 5/26: Narrating the Ineffable: How Does Inequality Get Reproduced?

If you missed it the first time now you can check out the archive of, “Narrating the Ineffable: How Does Inequality Get Reproduced?”

To solve a problem, it must first be defined. When it comes to enduring and endemic socio-economic inequality, this seems to be particularly the case. But in a post-truth world, we have become unmoored from any “arbiter” that could convincingly establish the measures of vital pillars of the economy, such as “inflation” and “growth.” All the more so for something as complex, multi-varied, and intersectional as “inequality.” Measurements of inequality and the tactics for reducing it (or even, hopefully, eliminating it) abound across our two disciplines of Anthropology and Economics, forestalling our ability to find helpful pathways forward. In short, could agreeing upon a specific definition for socio-economic inequality be a worthy step toward better solving the problem? Or would clarifying the definition do more harm than good, elevating some forms of inequality as meriting solutions while devaluing others?

A first step might be for anthropologists and economists to come together and develop a shared language that traverses their commonly divided domains. Classically, anthropology relies on qualitative data, while economics relies on quantitative data. How can we make these domains more commensurable, and thus, less ineffable to both ourselves and the publics with whom we hope to converse? Could our stories become more powerful if we transcended the qualitative/quantitative domains that divide our disciplines?

To investigate these possibilities, we will hear from three anthropologists and an economist, all of whom will discuss their own strategies for reaching various publics through their research, and how they continually attempt to define and circumscribe the meaning of “inequality”.

Panelists: Gustav Peebles, Isabelle Guérin, Caroline Schuster, and Sylvia Yanagisako

While Wenner-Gren is proud to be providing a platform for this event, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Foundation.

 

Webinar 5/20: “Skeletons in the Anthropological Closet” Museum Collections and the Demand for Principles of Accountability

On Thursday, May 20th, the Wenner-Gren Foundation hosted, “Skeletons in the Anthropological Closet”: Museum Collections and the Demand for Principles of Accountability. Watch it now!

The recent controversy surrounding the existence of the remains of two black children killed in the 1985 police bombing of the MOVE revolutionary collective in Philadelphia that were thought to be repatriated and buried by their family members have ignited new questions about anthropology’s use of those remains in museums and teaching forums.  Many questions abound about why contemporary museums still hold the skeletal remains of people who never consented to their use and what responsibilities universities and funding agencies have to ensure that their researchers are in compliance with moral, ethical and political standards.

This panel serves to open a series of conversations dedicated to exploring the possibilities of an anthropology grounded in a commitment to “radical humanism.”   In a radically humanist anthropology, equality, connection, and becoming serve as guiding principles that (1) disrupt predominant conceptualizations of a stable, knowable, liberal subject in “the field,” (2) recognize the many ways that humans and non-humans are entangled, and (3) center justice, equity, and the reduction of harm as key aims of the anthropological project.  The goal is to not only understand the histories that shape this development but to also ponder a new way forward in considering the foundational basis upon which we rethink anthropological work.

Panelists: 

Rachel Watkins, PhD, Associate Professor, American University

Chip Colwell, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, SAPIENS

Carlina de la Cova, PhD, Associate Professor, University of South Carolina

Ciraj Rassool, PhD, Senior Professor of History, University of the Western Cape

Michael Blakey, PhD, NEH Professor, College of William and Mary

Moderated by Justin Dunnavant, PhD, Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University and Co-founder/President of the Society of Black Archaeologists

CART captioning – Joshua Edwards

Hosted by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research

Organized by the Association of Black Anthropologists, Anthropology Southern Africa, and the Center for Experimental Ethnography

While Wenner-Gren is proud to be providing a platform for this event, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Foundation.