Kwame Phillips (14PhD and faculty member at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy) and Emory Department of Anthropology Professor Debra Vidali are presenting and installing experimental ethnographic work at the British Museum in London on June 2. Their project “Kabusha Radio Remix,” is an ethnographic sound installation that turns the tables on colonial soft power and creates a tribute to the late David Yumba, wise man of the Zambian airwaves. The installation re-purposes archived audio recordings from Yumba’s popular Radio Zambia program, Kabusha Takolelwe Bowa (a Bemba proverb meaning “The Person Who Inquires First, Is Not Poisoned by a Mushroom” or “The One Who Asks Questions, Never Goes Wrong”). Learn more about the remix project on the Bemba Online Project. Phillips and Vidali’s presentation Collisions of Memory, Voice, Sound, and Physicality though a Multi-sensorial Radio Remix Installation will be at the Art, Materiality and Representation conference, hosted by The Royal Anthropological Institute, The British Museum, and University of London SOAS.
“What if we started reporting tragedies in the Mediterranean like we do any others – with names and not numbers? There were forty-seven humans lost in a single shipwreck. This isn’t the story of their shipwreck. It’s the story of them,” says Isabella Alexander (PhD 2016) .
Dr. Alexander writes about her work to identify the migrants who died when their boat capsized on February 4th while trying to reach Europe. She has become an expert on the migrant crisis through the research for her documentary The Burning: An Untold Story from the Other Side of the Migrant Crisis.
In Anthropology 385: The Migrant and Refugee Crisis Isabella Alexander combines classroom learning with creation of real-life solutions. Students interacted with people affected by the migrant crisis and created final projects that are aimed at having genuine impact, such as a mentoring program for young refugees.
“To the students, it was a heady experience, steeped in the thrill of identifying a problem and actually doing something about it. For their professor, it was an affirming case study in the power of engaged learning.” Emory News Center
Aubrey P. Graham’s (PhD 2016) photographic exhibition created in coordination with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative will hang in the Harvard Asia Center from Nov. 2- 30, 2017. “High Ground: Disaster, Risk, and Resilience in the Philippines” explores the social dynamics that affect disaster preparedness across two distinctive communities: Sitio Kislap and Gawad Kalinga.
Gabriela Sheets receives the Society for Medical Anthropology’s Dissertation Award for her 2017 dissertation on “The Developmental Ecology of the Infant Microbiome”.
The Committee describes Sheets’ work as “novel meshing of anthropology and biology to explore an emerging area of general interest,” and thought it was likely to “make important contributions well beyond the medical anthropology community.” One member called it an “exemplar in where science should go.”
“Recognition begs reflection, and reflection begs gratitude. The beast that this dissertation was to become invited me on a marvelous journey through the lives, stories and biologies of many Salvadoran families, for which I am forever grateful. Before my observing eye, life spilled out. She sometimes clumsily, but always excitedly, tripped over herself to whisper her secrets and to weave her tales through the human body. Even under and around the long shadows of death where meaning was mute, her whispers sounded. Thank you Emory for the opportunity to research questions that excite me, always supported by frameworks rooted in our anthropological and biological heritage. I hope to make even a small difference with the tools and drive that you provided for me.” Gabriela Sheets
Dietrich and her co-authors, Adriana María Garriga-López and Claudia Sofía Garriga-López, point out in the article that the state Puerto Rico is currenlty in after the recent hurricanes cannot be seen without taking into account the history of this US territory. They cite mismanagement such as “extractivism, monoculture, and poor waste management”, as well as the so called Jones Act as unnatural disaster that strike the island.
The authors offer a vision for the future: “What vulnerable communities need is an infrastructure of sustainable economic development and reliable everyday public services so their existing adaptive capacities can be strengthened and supported.”
Dietrich wrote her dissertation on “The Corporation Next Door: Pharmaceutical Companies in Community, Health and the Environment in Puerto Rico”.
Dr. Isabella Alexander, anthropologist and filmmaker, published an article on the Wenner-Gren Foundation website Sapiens. She describes some of her experiences during her research on the migrant crisis. She has traveled extensively while working on her documentary The Burning: An Untold Story from the Other Side of the Migrant Crisis.