Blogs 2018

 

Derek Denman, December 2018

I wish to reflect on the concept of “off-centeredness” invoked in the title of “Empire Off-Center” and evoked through participants’ interventions. The title implores us to reconsider the conjunction of space and power. Whereas empire would seem to be the quintessential “centering” entity—an enormous, extended geographic space, ...

Steven Vertovec, December 2018

The run-up to today’s signing of the UN-Migrationspakt has wrought a storm of diatribe. This is not surprising, given the hostile environment already created by the populist right over the last two years.  Migration is a political football now being played like never before. Any large, policy-related declaration – even a non-binding one like the Migrationspakt – is bound to be kicked around as a kind  of political maneuvering. ...

Dora Sampaio, December 2018

It is often said that everything happens for a reason: past experiences often imperceptibly flow into our present and help us navigate our future, often without us paying much attention to them until we are pressed to do so. My research project on (im)mobilities of transnational ageing care, with its focus on ageing Brazilian parents who stayed put, when their migrating offspring ‘sailed off’ to Europe and North America, similarly carries traces of my past personal and professional experiences. ...

Nele Wolter, December 2018

During my field research for my BA in Cameroon in 2014, I met Angeline, a farmer selling green coffee to the cooperative I was working with. At that time, she was 76 years old, widowed and living on her own in a small village near Bafoussam, the regional capital of francophone West Cameroon. ...

Christine Lang, Jens Schneider, Andreas Pott • December 2018

Vermutlich wurde in Deutschland noch nie so offen über Rassismus und Diskriminierung diskutiert wie in den vergangenen Monaten. Mesut Özil verkündete seinen Rücktritt aus der deutschen Fußballnationalmannschaft und beklagte Rassismus vonseiten des DFB. Daraufhin wurde auf Twitter der Hashtag #MeTwo ins Leben gerufen, unter dem seitdem – in Anlehnung an die #MeToo-Debatte zu sexualisierten Übergriffen gegenüber Frauen – zehntausende Menschen mit familiärer Einwanderungsgeschichte oder dunklerer Hautfarbe ihre Erfahrungen mit Alltagsrassismus geteilt haben. Etablierte Medien griffen das Thema auf und Politiker*innen zeigten sich solidarisch. ...

Stefan Schlegel, September 2018

Drei Jahre nach dem langen Sommer der Migration ist diese in manchen Köpfen zur „Mutter aller Probleme“ avanciert. Aber das eigentliche Problem im Umgang mit Migration ist, dass nur noch Abwehr als Umgang mit ihr in Betracht gezogen wird. Es ist Zeit für einen Befreiungsschlag von innen. ...

Maximilian Scholz, August 2018

In den letzten fünfhundert Jahren war das Ankommen von Flüchtlingen in Deutschland kein seltenes  Ereignis. Im Vergleich zu der Flüchtlingsaufnahme von heute sind die Aufnahmen der Vergangenheit mit viel erheblicheren Herausforderungen im Zusammenhang mit der Unterbringung und Integration von Flüchtlingen einhergegangen. ...

Peter van der Veer, July 2018

One often starts with Christianity when discussing conversion. This is not so strange, since Christianity is inextricably connected to the early modern expansion of Spain and Portugal to the rest of the world, as well as to the imperialism of Britain, France, and the Netherlands in the nineteenth century. It is also central to the history of the transatlantic slave trade. , ...

Benjamin Boudou, July 2018

On July 6 2018, the French Constitutional Council ruled that the commonly called “delit de solidarité” or “solidarity offense” which criminalises any person who facilitates the irregular entry or stay of a foreigner in France is partially unconstitutional. Even if the legislator has to reconcile the constitutional principle of fraternity with the safeguarding of the public order, the former implies the “freedom to help others, for a humanitarian purpose, ...

Michael Stasik, June 2018

How does one actually carry out anthropological research on migration-spurred urban diversity? And how does an anthropologist, actually study groups composed of diverse migrants? Asking such questions might come across either as a rhetorical device or as somewhat naïve, especially if the one asking works as an anthropologist at the MPI MMG, which carries the ‘study of diversity’ in its title. Yet, I do not mean to ask rhetorical questions, and I hope that I’m not overly naïve either. ...

Dana Schmalz, June 2018

Der Vorschlag, Asylsuchende doch einfach direkt an der Grenze abzuweisen, ist als politisches Material erstaunlich langlebig. Erstaunlich, weil das Recht dem Vorschlag so eindeutig entgegensteht. Das Europarecht steht ihm entgegen, in Form der Regelungen der Dublin-Verordnung. Wenn man die ändern oder missachten möchte, steht dem Vorschlag immer noch die Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention (EMRK) entgegen, ...

Sonja Moghaddari, June 2018

Audrey’s headphones cover just one ear; she left the other one free to hear her own voice, relentlessly whispering into the microphone. Her eyes meet mine to tell me that everything is fine, that she is following the conversation. Highly concentrated, she is translating simultaneously what is said in English into French for some of the people who came from Africa. Audrey’s whispering melts into a collective murmur that sets the group of people around me off from the silently listening public. ...

CityDiv-Team (Michalis Moutselos, Christian Jacobs, Julia Martínez-Ariño, Maria Schiller, Karen Schönwälder, Alexandre Tandé), May 2018

In many European countries, “diversity” has become a common term in political and public life. In Germany, for instance, thousands of companies, administrations, and other civil society actors have signed a diversity charter. ...

Martijn van den Brink (MPI-MMG) and Dimitry Kochenov (Faculty of Law, University of Groningen), May 2018

Brexit will almost inevitably result in a significant loss of rights, in particular for UK citizens. They will lose their EU citizenship and the EU citizenship will not apply in the UK. To prevent UK citizens from losing EU citizenship, several commentators, including Guy Verhofstadt, the EP Brexit negotiator, have floated the idea of an associate citizenship for UK nationals to safeguard their rights as EU citizens after Brexit. ...

A collaboration between Alessio Mazzaro and members of the EoM research group

Giulia Carabelli, April 2018

Since last autumn, members of the Empires of Memory Group - Giulia Carabelli, Annika Kirbis and Jeremy F. Walton – have collaborated with the Trieste-based artist Alessio Mazzaro ...

Thoughts on the “Rumours about Germany” Campaign

February 2018

This is a translation of the blog article Werben gegen Asyl. Gedanken zur ‘Rumours about Germany’-Kampagne” by Nerges Azizi und Dana Schmalz from 08.01.2018. Translated by Christiane Kofri.

Under the title of “Rumours about Germany”, the Federal Foreign Office informs about the possibilities of being granted protection in Germany. In English, French and Arabic, “reliable facts” are provided in short texts practically sorted into three categories: “Sure about leaving?”, “On your way?”, “Need to return?”. ...

Jeremy F. Walton, December 2018

Consider, for a moment, an iconic building or monument: The Great Pyramid of Giza, the Eiffel Tower, or the Taj Mahal. Seen from afar, the silhouettes of these famous structures are immediately recognizable—countless reproductions anticipate and delimit our view of them. It can be difficult to see the object before our eyes, precisely because we already know what we will see. ...

Megha Amrigh, December 2018

When I tell acquaintances in passing about our new research group exploring the connections between ageing and migration, some of the first images that come to their minds are of northern European retirees moving to the south of Spain (not to mention references to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel); or of migrants caring for ageing populations in countries such as Germany or Japan. . ...

Victoria K. Sakti, December 2018

While going through some past fieldwork photos, I singled out those that could help me think about my current research project on ageing in the context of protracted displacement. Four pictures stood out for reasons I will elaborate on here.[1] I took them in one day while visiting a former refugee camp in the outskirts of an Indonesian border town called Atambua. In 1999, this small town hosted large numbers of East Timorese refugees during the height of massive violence that surrounded Timor-Leste’s independence from Indonesia. Around 240,000 people crossed the border, fleeing from Indonesian-backed militia terror. ...

Megha Amrigh, December 2018

In 1975, John Berger and Jean Mohr, in their book A Seventh Man on the lives of migrant workers in Europe, wrote that migrant workers ‘do not age; they do not get tired; they do not die. They have a single function: to work’ (Berger and Mohr, 1975: 68). This statement made me think of Ruby, a Filipina woman I got to know in Barcelona in 2015 while researching a project on migrant women in the city. She migrated to Barcelona in the early 1980s to find a job in domestic work, a sector in which she has been employed for the past decades. ...

Farhan Samanani, November 2018

When talking about race and belonging in Britain today, it is hard not to look backwards. The year 2018 marks a number of pertinent anniversaries. For instance, it is 25 years since the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence, and 50 years since Enoch Powell made his (in)famous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in response to the drafting of the 1968 Race Relations Act. It has also been 50 years since The Runnymede Trust was founded with the mission of ‘nailing the lie’ on racism, and 70 since the 1948 Commonwealth Immigrants Act was passed, planting the roots of a legislative tangle that led to the Windrush Scandal earlier this year. ...

Miriam Schader, Tim Rohmann und Sybille Münch, September 2018

Seit August 2018 läuft die Pilotphase der zentralen Aufnahme-, Entscheidungs- und Rückführungseinrichtungen (AnKER-Zentren), die sich an den bereits existierenden bayerischen Transitzentren orientieren und nach Wunsch des Bundesinnenministers künftig bundesweit eingerichtet werden sollen. Während Kirchen, Forschende und NGOs vor negativen Folgen für Betroffene und Standorte warnen – so auch wir in der Z’Flucht – versprechen sich die Befürworter*innen eine schnellere und effizientere Bearbeitung von Asylverfahren. ...

Stefan Schlegel, July 2018

Die Annexion der Krim 2014, die Reaktion auf den Sommer der Migration 2015, der Brexit im Sommer 2016, Trumps Wahlsieg im Herbst, die sich verschärfende Konflikt zwischen Ost- und Westeuropa innerhalb der EU: All diese Phänomene werden gerne pauschal als Zeichen eines wiedererstarkenden Nationalismus gelesen. Dabei gehen feine, aber wichtige Unterschiede verloren. Wenn Nationalismus in der Erzählung besteht, wonach eine Gruppe durch Geburt, Sprache, Kultur oder Geschichte miteinander verbunden ist, lässt sich die Frage nach dem nationalen „Wer sind wir?“ ganz unterschiedlich beantworten. ...

Dana Schmalz, July 2018

Die Fiktion der Nichteinreise klingt ein bisschen verrückt – aber können wir uns alle daran gewöhnen, nachdem wir uns einmal kräftig gewundert haben? Nein, wir dürfen uns nicht mit Fiktionen abfinden, die Rechte aushebeln. Das Recht kennt verschiedene Fiktionen, aber sie dienen der Wahrung von Rechten. Wenn wir Fiktionen akzeptieren, die Rechte umgehen, befinden wir uns im düstersten Gruselkabinett des rechtlichen Unrechts. ...

Jie Kang, June 2018

The Religious Diversity department organized a workshop on “Chinese Religions in the Age of Massive Urbanization” on 6th and 7th of June. International scholars working from different disciplines such as such sociology, anthropology, sinology, history and theology were invited to consider how urbanization and religions constitute each other and the implications of broad changes resulting from urbanization and the dynamics of religion. ...

Miriam Schader, Juni 2018

In diesem Zitat wird behauptet, AnkER-Zentren trügen zu ‚schnelleren‘ und ‚sicheren‘ Asylverfahren bei und seien notwendig. Doch wäre dem so?
‚Schneller‘?
Eine solche Unterbringung könnte die Verfahrensdauer durchaus verkürzen, insofern in den AnkER-Zentren wie in Transitbereichen der Flughäfen beschleunigte Verfahren angewandt würden. Das nach §18 Asylgesetz beschleunigte „Flughafenverfahren“ führt jedoch oftmals dazu, dass Asylbewerber*innen nicht ausreichend Zeit zur Verfahrensvorbereitung bleibt. ...

Dana Schmalz, June 2018

Das Gemeinsame Europäische Asylsystem hat Mängel, ohne Frage. Aber es enthält mit der Dublin-Verordnung eine Grundentscheidung, die wesentlich ist: Jeder Asylsuchende in der EU soll irgendwo Zugang zu einem Verfahren bekommen. ...

Martijn van den Brink, June 2018

The Court of Justice of the European Union has not always enjoyed the reputation of being particularly LGBT-friendly, but its standing among those pushing for the better protection of rights of same-sex couples is likely to have improved considerably following Coman ...

Art Exhibition in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Liza Wing Man Kam, June 2018

‘Are there Shinto Shrines in Taiwan?’
Often when I spoke about my work on the Shinto Shrines in Taiwan, people ask, ‘Are there Shinto Shrines in Taiwan? I thought that’s Japanese.’ This is but not limited to the people outside Taiwan. 
...

Irfan Ahmad, May 2018

The evolutionary-racial othering that the concept of holism enacted does not only belong to anthropology’s past, in the nineteenth century. The division of the world into us and them has continued in many works, albeit not in the form of the “modern” us and “primitive” them that many anthropologists now recognize. ...

Peter van der Veer, April 2018

Jesus said 'Let the dead bury the dead' (Luke 9:60). But, obviously, they cannot. They need the living to do it for them. What strikes the reader of the overwhelming historical and anthropological literature on death and the disposal of the dead is the deep concern that most societies have in taking care ...

Renewing Political Anthropology

Irfan Ahmad, March 2018

In 2007, Jonathan Spencer announced the “death of political anthropology.” I do not think political anthropology died, but it does need renewing. To accept its death and hope, as Spencer does, for “a reborn anthropology of the political,” is to slip into metaphysics and expect its rebirth. This inaugural column outlines one key way to renew political anthropology: (auto)biography. ...