GISCA No.32, 2021
"Climate Change Songs and Emotions: Articulating Agency in the Central Pacific"
Articulations of vulnerability, of the will to address the challenges posed by climate change, and of criticism of the international community’s inadequate efforts to limit global warming have taken many forms. In the Central Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati, songs associated with emotions are one of the artistic forms used to convey these articulations. In this paper, we turn our attention to a song about climate change that was written in English to reach the global community. We argue that this song, with its highly articulated and evoked emotions, represents a political practice in which the agency of atoll inhabitants is expressed. This song allows the protest against international climate policies to be heard and felt on the global stage. Although Kiribati is considered particularly vulnerable, the composer resists portraying the nation as a victim of climate change. Instead, he emphasizes the people’s agency and calls on the global community to take appropriate action.
GISCA No.31, 2021
"Fürsorgliche Liebe als Widerstand: Die Emotion und das Selbst in der Care-Arbeit lateinamerikanischer Haushaltshilfen in Madrid"
This thesis examines caring 'love' in the context of care work performed by Latin American domestic workers in Madrid. Drawing on Michel Foucault's discourse analysis and based on ethnographic research, love is analyzed as a discursive reproduction of its emic meanings embedded in Latin American cultures. Different perceptions of care work lead to ambiguous, and sometimes conflictual, tensions in the work relationship of care workers and their employers. In response to the research question "how do Latin American domestic workers in Spain perceive caring love and how does this perception affect their care work?", it is argued that love should be understood as a form of resistance against the demands of Spanish employers. In the context of the globalized division of labor in reproductive care work, historically handed-down colonial power relations are reproduced. It is still reflected in an unequal relationship between Latin American domestic workers and European employers based on exploitative structures. The results of ethnographic fieldwork in Madrid, which was continued online due to travel restrictions, show how 'love', creates specific discourses. Following Stuart Hall's concept of positioning and articulation, it is argued that these discourses are able to unite the Latin American diaspora and, in particular, domestic workers as a social group. Furthermore, the social (and psychological) consequences of practiced care work are understood as a practice of resistance in against exploitative structures.
GISCA No.30, 2021
"Tibetan youth and Indian exile - Cultural identities and challenges in Dharamsala"
In Dharamsala, India, the third generation of Tibetans is growing up in Indian exile. While in the homeland Tibet, cultural and religious practices face systematic destruction, many Tibetans in India try their best to preserve these. While Tibetan cultural identity has been the subject of numerous studies, few academic publications focused specifically on youth in the diaspora. This is significant because a large part of the Tibetan population in exile is young. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Dharamsala in northern India, this thesis examines the experiences and lived realities of young Tibetans. By analyzing their individual concepts of cultural identity, the work focuses on the interplay of perceptions of the homeland Tibet, India as hostland, and the broader diaspora. This interplay is grounded in political and social conditions of the exile and the resulting challenges, as well as the political and social desires for the homeland.
The young Tibetan generation in Dharamsala struggles for the continuation of Tibetan traditions, religions, languages, and culture in the diaspora. Although they share a collective memory of the history and a longing for the homeland, they pursuit individual and highly heterogeneous plans for the future. This thesis analyzes variations of “being Tibetan” in Dharamsala by evaluating different cultural aspects and experiences by Tibetans in their two countries of origins, Tibet or India.
GISCA No.29, 2021
"Spurenlesen: Eine ethnologische Forschung in der südafrikanischen Rundfunkkorporation SABC"
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), a public broadcaster established in 1936 through an act of parliament, remains until this day a key stimulus for collective self- reflection despite political upheavals. This working paper outlines social anthropological framework through which to examine the SABC as a living trace of a/the South African present. Based on empirical research performed in the organisation’s archives, this paper acts as a collection of the findings. The following discussion centres on the construction of ignorance.