FeaturesLectures

“A cup of coffee and a needle”: How a harm reduction café in Copenhagen quietly demonstrates an alternative to the war on drugs

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Behind the long counter of Café Dugnad, smells of spices and meat float out of industrial ovens. Light streams in through the glass doors of the smallish café, as loud hip-hop plays through the speakers. All day, someone hands out coffee and juice over the counter, and the café serves around 200 plates of food at lunch and dinner. At …

FeaturesLectures

Workshop report: ‘Interrogating Speculative Futures: A workshop on the politics of imagining a future with(out) chronic illness’

In 1992 Nancy Munn argued anthropological research should pay more attention to people’s lived realities of time. Since then, we have seen time and temporalities grow into a much-studied topic in anthropology and the broader social sciences, with various research publications (see, for example, Bryant and Knight 2019; Baraitser 2017; Moroşanu and Ringel 2016; Sharma 2014), workshops, and conferences dedicated …

Lectures

“Nothing About Us Without Us!” Really?: The Unequal Value of Lives in Harm Reduction NGOs

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Canada, like most capitalist societies of the global North, faces “an unprecedented and devastating wave of overdoses” and overdose deaths (Wells, 2017), intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic (Government of Canada, 2021). In the summer of 2017, activists including people who use drugs (PWUD), allies, and nurses in Ottawa responded to this wave of overdoses by establishing the city’s first unsanctioned …

Lectures

Captive to smell

The rise of Çatalhöyük is one of my favorite topics to cover in the Introduction to Anthropology course. Located in central Turkey, the proto-urban settlement was occupied for more than a millennium, starting about 9000 years ago. At any given time during Çatalhöyük’s existence, between 3,000 and 8,000 people lived in what is one of the oldest known “towns” in …

Lectures

Writing Life No. 18: An Interview with Stefania Pandolfo

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The anthropologist Stefania Pandolfo approaches ethnography as not just the depiction of a world but as what addresses and displaces both the writer and the reader, where ethnography itself becomes a site of transformation. Our conversations since 2014, first as she was completing revisions on her book Knot of the Soul and then as I was writing my dissertation, and …

Lectures

Criminalisation, harm reduction and responsibility in Polish drug policies

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In 2019, Sebastian Kaleta, a member of the Polish parliament associated with the ruling Law and Justice party, published a report denigrating Warsaw-based organisations working in the fields of LGBTQ+ rights and harm reduction. The report alleged that these non-governmental organisations and informal groups spend public money to de facto ‘affirm’ the use of psychoactive substances and ‘promote’ non-heteronormative sexual …

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