One of the topics that I have been working on quite intensively in the past months is that of safety in (ethnographic) fieldwork. During and after the fieldwork for my masters’ thesis, I realized that safety is often not given the priority status it deserves. In cultural anthropology, the myth of having to suffer through fieldwork as an initiation rite to the discipline persists stubbornly, even though it is by far no longer in keeping with the times.
As a first step to address this issue, Laura Thurmann, Kira Kreft and I organized a workshop for students of cultural anthropology at Goethe University Frankfurt, which took place on the 26th and 27th of November. We really couldn’t be happier with the result, these months of hard work definitely paid off!
The workshop is based on the assumption that notions of “dangerous places” or “dangerous people” are too generalizing and deepen stereotypes. However, there are dangerous situations which are anchored in their respective context. Reflecting on this context, including on one’s positionality and the vulnerabilities it entails, is a crucial step in preparing for a research stay that is not only insightful, but also prioritizes our physical and mental health.
Laura, Kira and I definitely want to take this project further, so stay tuned!