Read the PDF version    

1. President’s Letter

Mariya summarises the past six months of activities as her term as President comes to an end


Dear friends,

It is that time of the second year of our mandate when it becomes difficult not only to rush ahead to finish off initiated projects, but also to take a step back and reflect on what has already been achieved and what might be left for the next EASA executive committee to carry out. The newsletter, our survey has shown, is our main tool for keeping EASA members in the loop about our activities, and I have been further assured of this by your feedback to previous letters of this type: be it by you sharing it with your departments, discussing it on social media, or pointing out my typos. Thank you all for reading so far, and for reading this time as well.

What then are these few issues that kept us busy over the last few months?

As you all know, we carried out a fully hybrid event out of Belfast for EASA2022 – there were, as expected, some small glitches in technology, food supply chains, and reported COVID-19 infections. We aim to learn from these. At the same time, as our EASA2022 summary report in this newsletter shows, it was a very successful event. This is another opportunity to say a deep warm thanks to the scientific and local committees, the keynote and plenary speakers, and to NomadIT’s and volunteers’ work. And thanks to you all, old and new EASA members, for your participation, patience, and passion.

Outside the official programme, we also held a number of side events which were very well attended and created strong appeal and energy: beyond the outstanding and hugely popular tour of Belfast by local committee’s and QUB’s own Dominic Bryan, we also had the elegant and personally political Salon; the insightful and inciting Activism event; the Integrity Committee and MeTooAnthro Collective co-organised event on sexual harassment, assault and bullying in anthropology; and the PrecAnthro’s gathering on our precarious discipline. There were all timely and well placed, an a big shout out goes especially to the efforts of local committee’s and EASA exec member Fiona Murphy who walked the extra mile to secure venues and connect them well with the cultural and political scene in the welcoming but also deeply divided city and country we inhabited for a week.

We also held the Mantas Kvedaravičius Film Award, organised by Chowra Makaremi, and for which late anthropologist and filmmaker’s bereaved partner in life and art Hanna Bilobrova was present together with the last member of the jury Rosa Bartoli. The competition was strong with six short-listed movies, very high quality and spoke deeply to some aspects of Mantas’s filmmaking. The award went to ben jij bij bij/are you with me" by Sophia van Ghesel Grothe and Mark Lindenberg. As many participants may not have managed to see the movies during the busy conference programme, we are trying to arrange a further viewing opportunity for members in the months ahead.

And what are the ongoing projects?

We will soon release the results of the precarity and sexual harassments consultancies on which we have been working with Dr Heather McKnight from Magnetic Ideals and Dr Jerika Loren Heinze from Fieldwork Initiative, respectively. We are also organising a small number of webinars to follow-up on some of our activities: one on mapping anti-precarity initiatives around Europe and beyond, and on the global effects of the still and sadly ongoing war of Russia against Ukraine. We have also initiated tighter correspondence with and between European national associations in anthropology, with the hope to coordinate an Anthropology Day and other activities across the continent: one where anthropology is suffering an assault but where local victories have been won, see the Polish case where our colleagues have secured a place for ethnology and cultural anthropology once again in the list of officially recognised disciplines. We have also been communicating with the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA) on connecting better anthropology initiatives for social justice and peace globally.

Last, but not least, we continue our core work of perpetuating the excellent activity of our association’s networks with the call for funding just closed (with 30 applications received from 31 networks); and EASA exec elections are coming, nomination deadline 30 November. Do consider nominating your candidate or running yourself. Being part of the exec does require some work, but it is also greatly satisfying to be part of an association that truly shows political commitment and spine in very dark and confusing times.

Mariya Ivancheva
University of Strathclyde
Outgoing president of EASA, 2021-2023