by Liv Barnett
Academics are often accused of failing to make their research matter to audiences other than themselves. Anthropologists are particularly criticized for writing theories and ethnographies that not only go unread by non-anthropologists, but are also too inaccessible to those they may be writing about. Here I hope to try and explain a central aspect of my PhD research in Papua New Guinea and share some of the ways it has got me thinking about politics and economics in the UK.
The stereotyped anthropologist gets criticized for using the experiences of a usually colonised ‘other’ for their own project of producing knowledge that counters the taken for granted understandings people have of humanity or society in ‘the West’, which are presumed to be universal to human nature. This is a legitimate argument which has to be taken seriously. Therefore, I self-consciously use some of my observations in Papua New Guinea (enabled by the generosity of those who I lived with in PNG) and the ideas of European/western social theorists.
by Laura Potts
‘If anything, art is…about morals, about our belief in humanity.
Without that, there simply is no art’
Norwich’s own Space Studios hosted Bridges, a fascinating exhibition by artists Marcia X and Karis Upton, earlier this month. Entering through a small alley, I climb stairs up to the first few works, which I find in a dark setting, immersing me in the exhibition. Up another staircase, long enough for me to begin reflecting on what I’ve seen, is a much lighter space, with works hung from the sloped ceiling. Afterward, I’ll go on reflecting for some time – the themes and issues that Bridges explores are of such magnitude that every viewer is forced to sit up and listen.
by Matilda Carter
I’ve been hearing a lot in the last few weeks about how 2015 was the year that trans gained mainstream acceptance and that this development was all thanks to Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox and that Amazon show that fails to understand the trans experience in any way. No matter who I speak to, I am told that I must hero worship Jenner and Cox for creating a world in which I can walk down the street with a slightly lower chance of being violently attacked, but I’m not going to fake enthusiasm to people I don’t like any more, because this year I will be demanding a better standard of hero.
Let’s ignore Jenner’s homophobia and support for the Republicans for a second. I’m even willing to ignore her belief that the hardest thing about being a woman is deciding what to wear. Pointing out that Caitlyn Jenner sucks is so 2015. In 2016, we must demand better heroes because we cannot leave a world where we are told we are not to be valued because of the journey towards our true genders, only to enter a world where we are only valued because of the journey towards our true genders.