RESOURCE WORLDS

Social Explorations of Resource Extraction

Category: Digging with Words

Anthropologists in the company of gatekeepers

By Sabine Luning, Leiden University

My recent start of new fieldwork in Suriname and French Guiana raises interesting questions about ‘entering the field’. How is it that the process of negotiating access to people and places is in itself a major source of knowledge about power relations? 

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Shining diamonds: of global connections and local lifeworlds

By Robert Pijpers, University of Oslo

Resources are all around us, they are in the screen you are now looking at, in the Olympic medals that have recently been generously awarded at the Olympics in Brazil, in the cars, bikes and trains we use to transport ourselves with and in the houses we live in. For many of us, resources are in the ground they are working on – digging, breaking, sifting, washing this ground in order to extract that valuable product, be it coltan, stone or diamonds – or operating machines, managing human resources, building mining infrastructure, functioning in the boards of companies and trading on the stock market. For others, resources are the reason for resettlement and dispossession, for conflict and for environmental disasters. In other words, resources and their extraction are a crucial daily reality for everybody, be it in the (potentially combined) form of production and consumption, as challenge and opportunity.

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