Eduardo Viveiros de Castro: “I would like the Museu Nacional to remain as a ruin, a memory of the dead things.”

This week, a translation of an interview between anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro of the Museu Nacional in Brazil, and journalist Alexandra Prado Coelho. "My wish, with the rage that we are all feeling, is to leave this ruin as a memento mori, with the memory of the dead, of the dead things, of the dead peoples, of the dead archives, destroyed in this fire. I would not build in that place. And, above all, I would not attempt to hide, to erase this event, pretending that nothing happened and to try to put there a modern building, a digital museum, an internet museum – I do not doubt that these ideas will come forward. I would like that it remains in ashes, in ruins, only the façade standing, so that all can see and remember. A memorial." With thanks to Thiago Opperman for the translation.

Ep. #21 Misogyny, irrational politics, the ontological turn, and multi-media learning: this month on TFS

Jodie (1:04), drawing on the book Down Girl by Australian philosopher Kate Manne, starts us off by asking what misogyny is, and how we should tackle it as a culture. “If our goal is behaviour change, for bigots to stop being bigots, racists to stop being racists, misogynists to stop being misogynists… is the approach … Continue reading Ep. #21 Misogyny, irrational politics, the ontological turn, and multi-media learning: this month on TFS

Ep. #19 Anthro & policy-making, digital disruption, online research, & what is love? This month on TFS

This month, Simon starts us off (1:08) asking, how can we make the knowledge we gain from anthropology matter for policy and government? "There’s no reason why [anthropology] can’t be scaled up. There’s no reason why there shouldn’t be a chief anthropologist to the government.” As Jodie argues, "unless, as a discipline, we are willing … Continue reading Ep. #19 Anthro & policy-making, digital disruption, online research, & what is love? This month on TFS

Single Shot: Poisoned Hyena

Each entry in the “Single Shot” visual anthropology series presents a single photograph or unbroken shot of video taken during ethnographic fieldwork, plus a short description, with an emphasis on the researcher’s reflexive experience. The series editor is Dr. Natasha Fijn. Submit your own Single Shots to submissions@thefamiliarstrange.com. Author: Dr. Marcus Baynes-Rock is an anthropologist … Continue reading Single Shot: Poisoned Hyena

What the Tech Sector Could Learn from Anthropology

Technology is a social tool that requires understanding of social and cultural factors for it to be a driver of equality. Failing to incorporate an anthropological perspective into tech design, development and policy risks increasing social inequalities driven by digital exclusion. It also makes it more likely that your product or service will fail. Digital connectivity and data mediate culture, systems and life today. Failing to take into account the importance of “small data” in a world of big data risks boxing people into categories of belonging which inaccurately represent their lives, hopes, fears and desires in this world.

Land, Labour & Society in Aceh: Chandra Jayawardena’s unpublished fieldnotes

This post is a little outside our usual mandate, but we are intrigued by the idea that Professor Robinson proposes: an interactive online project  she is working on to share and find publication avenues for the works of the late anthropologist Chandra Jayawardena. What would it mean to use field notes that have undergone no analysis? What is it like using the raw data of someone who can no longer have a say on how it is assessed?

Ep. #17 Slamming doors, predicting futures, picking sides & citing informants: this month on TFS

With Julia's PhD submitted (!!!) and Jodie back from her travels, the band is finally back together! Jodie starts us off, (2:04) asking if a theory from psychology be applied to a whole population--specifically, whether US president Trump's apparent reversal on family separation work as a negotiating tactic, the so-called "door-in-the-face" technique. She asks, can … Continue reading Ep. #17 Slamming doors, predicting futures, picking sides & citing informants: this month on TFS

Forgotten Violence against Backpackers in Australia

While backpackers extensively contribute to the national economy as tourists and workers, they are only here on a short-term basis. Being temporary non-citizens there is less emotional investment into backpackers’ wellbeing and security. It is important to evaluate whether national policy overlooks (or even supports) the ongoing pattern of violence against backpackers because their presence benefits the national economy.

Single Shot: contribute a still or moving image from the field

Author: Dr. Natasha Fijn, based at the ANU Mongolia Institute. Her research focuses on multispecies ethnography and observational filmmaking. Ethnographic film and photography includes detailed observations of events as they unfold in the field. In alignment with the filmic approaches of David MacDougall and the earlier work of Jean Rouch, we are interested in the basis of ethnographic audio-visual material: the wide-angle, hand-held, long … Continue reading Single Shot: contribute a still or moving image from the field

Living Fossils

One of the most popular jokes among anthropologists is how often our work is mistaken for palaeontology. Almost every one of my colleagues and even a few of my students can relate an anecdote involving a situation where they were asked if they “dug up dinosaurs.” Imagine the difficulty I now face in my own work where the answer is effectively, “Yes, but not for the reasons you’re thinking.”