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. […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

The promise of (fieldwork) planning
“I asked one of the constructors’ representatives, ‘Do you really believe it’s going to get built?’. I just wanted to hear him say it. At one of their events. And then, no hesitation, he said: ‘Of course. The only thing that could stop us now is a property market crisis.’ And then he laughed. Can […]

Digitale und digitalisierte Daten und die Rekonstruktion von Wissen
Eine Retrospektive auf meinen Feldaufenthalt in Papua-Neuguinea im Frühjahr 2020
Abbildung 1: Direktorin Joanne Arek vor dem Haus Tumbuna Madang Museum & Cultural Center im März 2020. Foto: Katharina Nowak.   „[…] Sie vermuten, dass Lae und Port Moresby am Montag abgeriegelt werden. Dann könnte ich nicht mehr ausreisen. Mein Flug ab Singapurer wurde schon gecancelt und Deutsche dürfen nicht mehr einreisen. […] Ggf. müsste […]

Responsibilities beyond fieldwork
Morality and social distancing during the interview
This article aims to reflect on how fieldwork has changed due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, it explores what it means to conduct an interview with “social distancing” and how the researcher is coping between the need for data collection and personal protection. My current research project is about the role […]

Forschen@home? Das sozial- und kulturanthropologische „Home Office“ in der „Corona-Krise“
Das „Home Office“ der Autorin, Foto: JB privat. Während sich immer mehr Menschen in das Zoom-Meeting einloggen werden die Anzeigebilder immer kleiner. Bald muss ich mehrfach scrollen um einen Überblick über die über sechzig Teilnehmer*innen zu bekommen. In den winzigen Bildern erkenne ich bei Manchen Ausschnitte aus ihren Privatwohnungen: Ich sehe Familienfotos an den Wänden, […]

Interrupted and postponed
Fragmented memories and reflections on fieldwork during a pandemic
On 29 January 2020 my fieldwork ended abruptly two weeks earlier than planned. I had spent the preceding week with my old friend Dechen at her family’s home in a farming village on the Tibetan plateau between Xining and Chengdu, the two largest urban hubs of Tibetan life located outside of the Tibet Autonomous Region […]

Hearing, Seeing, Smelling, Touching, Tasting
Anthropological Reflections on a Digital Encounter with a Forest during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic
Digital Ethnographies of Environmental Encounters. Drawing by Jenny García Ruales (Jkilla).   My planned encounter with a particular forest, the Kawsak Sacha (Living Forest) in the Ecuadorian Amazon, has been transformed. While figuring out how to connect digitally with my non-human interlocutor, who in this case is not just the forest as an assemblage but […]

– in Pandemien und Spiritualität
Foto 1: Kerzen für Iansã und Oxum[1], die in Verbindung mit einem Ritual im Umbanda-Haus Casa St. Michael / Haus des Reinen Wassers der Mãe-de-Santo[2] Gabriele Hilgers in Köln standen. Berlin-Wilmersdorf, bei mir Zuhause im Wohnzimmer, 11. Juni 2020. © Inga Scharf da Silva.   In meinen ethnologischen Forschungen interessieren mich die Alltagspraxen von Menschen […]