The blog Fieldwork meets Crisis is part of the DGSKA Autumn School, which takes its starting point in the current pandemic moment, which substantially affects our discipline. (Field) research cannot be conducted or changes significantly, the mobility of researchers is limited, physical proximity on-site is replaced by online contacts, planning security gives way to uncertainty. […]

Vigilantism in western Burkina Faso
Research about a crisis and within a crisis
Today one year ago I took part in my first field research in Burkina Faso[1] on behalf of my research project “Local self-regulation for the establishment of security: vigilante groups in Burkina Faso” at the University of Leipzig. The research focuses on vigilantes in the West African state of Burkina Faso. The project compares two […]

Fieldwork Meets Crisis
The Inevitability of Topic Change and Resilience Response of Research Crisis
Efendi restaurant and Christmas tree, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Photo by Yang Zhao, PhD candidate of University of Queensland, Australia. The unexpected epidemic swept the world at the beginning of the year and directly interrupted my research plan. After waiting for several months, I finally decided to choose my plan B in September and change my research […]

From Street Art to Internet
Thoughts on Digital Ethnography
My PhD research[1] on mural street art in Los Angeles (USA) focuses on the relations between urban artivism and the appropriation of urban space, the creation and reshaping of space and history, as well as the limits and scopes of artistic production in the context of political and social crisis. I had planned an intense […]

Old Crisis Meet New Crisis:
“(New) Coronavirus”, Digitalization of fieldwork and the Century-old Crisis of Representation in Anthropology
Academic life, often, involves a great deal of “social distancing,” and ethnographic research presents itself an opportunity to socialize beyond the comfort of one-owns working desk. After a year and a half immersed in the isolation of books, theories, and western academic environments, the opportunity to start fieldwork in Paraguay was greatly welcome. In late […]

Theseus Sailing the Peruvian Mantaro
Figure 1: Laya [andean Priest] Zósimo Tapara Jurado, performing a ceremony in the mountain of Huaytapallana, prior to the Coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Joaquín Molina (author). The Mantaro Valley, crossed by a great homonymous river and located in the central highlands of Peru, has historically been characterized as a unique place in the development of the […]

Challenges of ethnographic research in Zimbabwe’s political, economic, and social context amid SARS-Cov-2 pandemic
Abstract The global pandemic is affecting the way we conduct field research: instead of suspending conventional ethnographic field research altogether, alternative methods of research that take social distancing into consideration will be adequately used as a plausible way forward to the social impasse. The topic of my discussion is how I will transform my ethnographic […]

When is Myanmar data?
The making of data through detachment and attachment
In the ongoing pandemic, news media daily confront their audiences with new case figures, ‘data’ in the form of diagrams and the numbers they are based upon. In this this blog post, I will illustrate how something similar has happened during my research with a freedom of expression focused organisation in Myanmar[1]. This will show […]

Towards Longue Durée Research Partnerships
In this post I want to take the coronavirus outbreak, which led to the untimely termination of my stay in the Zambezi Region of North-Eastern Namibia to conduct research for my PhD, as occasion to reflect about the conditions for the possibility of doing ethnography with others. Doing ethnography always rests on the help of […]

Back Home to Normal?
Emerging Spaces of Queer Intimacy and Ethnographic Pathways.
When Dorothy Gale is thrown into the magical Land of Oz, the Good Witch of the North tells her to follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City where the Wizard of Oz would help her to get home. Following Dorothy on her journey, viewers of the iconic movie are perpetually reminded of the puzzles […]

Gaining Trust via WhatsApp
Remote Research in a Conflict Setting
Gaining Trust via WhatsApp: Remote Research in a Conflict Setting Unexpectedly, over the last months my smartphone has become one of my most important research tools. I use it to communicate with people I got to know at the beginning of this year when I went to Colombia in order to prepare a long-term fieldwork, […]