Tag Archives: academia

Film nights and research perspective, in Maper, Aweil town

jurassicpark

I am not an anthropologist.  I’m not “trained”, I have no critical understanding of the theories or methodologies, and I have a functional legal background in interviewing, not a research one.  I am also rubbish at “living in the community” – I’m a skinny-jeans-wearing, foreign-food-eating, boozing-and-dancing inappropriate nightmare.

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Filed under Academia, Domestic bliss, South Sudan

Last few weeks in Northern Bahr el Ghazal – Mayen Ulem village photos

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It’s been pretty wet here. Continue reading

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Small joys of research in Aweil

  • Carrying water from the borehole, putting it in the bucket in the sun to warm up, and then showering at sunset outside in the grass open-air cubicle.
  • Managing to work out how to use the choke on my motorbike to make it start in the rain.
  • Waking up to tea and bread being brought to me by the toddler in the compound.  Make ’em work.
  • The moments where someone starts discussing something in an interview that I’ve been desperate for more details on, and my interpreter and I share a look of “jackpot”.
  • Roasting coffee beans in a skillet in a green, green village, on Sunday afternoons.
  • Being given a chunky-assed baby to hold for a bit.
  • Heavy rain on my tin roof.
  • People being genuinely happy and surprised when I say, I’ve heard that you were an activist for community language classes in Khartoum, ten years ago.  And then them looking mildly terrified about how I’ve tracked them down.
  • People giving me their “spy names” from secret work they did in Khartoum.
  • Finding Nutella in a local shop.  Bought three jars immediately.
  • Film nights in my compound, and the joy of small boys seeing orcs and hobbits.  (Ayak said she had nightmares about dinosaurs after we watched Jurassic Park, though.)

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Melons and maps: research photo diary

melon1Alternative title: I bought a melon for the house, and other research adventures.

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Research: photo diary

Earl Grey tea, in Mile 14.

earlgrey

And on the road to Wanjok from Aweil town, these lovely local schools.

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‘Fieldwork’ time: moving on from Juba

football

A hat made of a plastic football, in Juba.

I’m re-starting my PhD properly on Thursday, after six months of working on my Arabic, which is still only shweya, and on the South Sudan National Archives, which is also shweya, although a little less of a mushkila than when I arrived.  I’m leaving Juba for Aweil – after my previous trip, I think it’s a good enough place to start work – on Thursday, with no real fixed plan after that.

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Moving the past in Juba

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This is probably not the advised method of moving archives around a town; but we have too much paper and we’re trying to resort 2000 files from Equatoria Province in a small house with no air con.  Give us a break.

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Filed under Academia, Archives, South Sudan