Back to the ‘multi-ethnic’ infinity and beyond: Girlfriends & Shopping

The picture is as simple as it gets. An absolute statement that minimalism is understated. When a single studio portrait can unpack so much. An invitation to question ethnic borders and limits. In a previous post it was all about Phnom Penh. Now let’s go along the river to Sala Lekh Pram, sit for a minute and see that indeed cosmopolitanism was never strictly a capital thing.

Moeun at a Sala Lekh Pram Photo Studio - 1962

Moeun at a Sala Lekh Pram Photo Studio – 1962

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To the ‘multi-ethnic’ infinity and beyond: let’s start with ‘Bad Frenchmen’

How about a read today? I was thinking… Gregor Muller ‘’Colonial Cambodia’s ‘Bad Frenchmen’‘’ [*], which would very well go with a ‘let’s-talk-ethnicity-lamp’ and with the subtitle: how did those insightful lines got exactly where I wasn’t expecting them? Continue reading

Descola Episode II: On classifications & identity, memory and anthropologist’s ”objectivity”.

LCs-p439

LCs-p439

”[…] It is probably the very subjectivity of our discipline that assures its wider import”. STs-p405

A way overdue selection of quotes from Philippe Descola‘s  « Les Lances du crépuscule » (”The Spears of Twilight”). You may think I am rumbling around as I already talked about the author and the book in a previous post here, but I will of course deny that. Not on the basis that I am indeed in denial, but rather because the final pages of the piece skate over notions and ideas I find quite essential in anthropology to go back to. Continue reading

Translating & Excavating: ‘’Muslim Communities in Cambodia : an overview’’

This week’ post emerges from the oldies department… Here comes the English translation of an article that was published in 2010, and written in 2006: « Les communautés musulmanes du Cambodge: un aperçu », (~ ‘’Muslim Communities in Cambodia : an overview’’). It was originally a chapter of an edited book (Atlas des minorités musulmanes en Asie ~ Atlas of Muslim minorities in Southern and Eastern Asia, Michel Gilquin ed., Bangkok, IRASEC / Paris CNRS) published in French, which aimed to provide the general public with an overview of the various Muslim minorities inhabiting ‘non-Muslim nations’ in Asia. Continue reading

Beyond Ethnonyms: writing and unwriting anthropology

My recent publication on Chams Ethnonyms for the journal Moussons is finally online (links at the bottom of this page). The front story of this article is all about how labels are socially, culturally and historically heavily constructed and can therefore – and I guess should – always be deconstructed through an ethnographic process. But the backstage story is actually very different and yet very related. It is more about the writing process which is itself so embodied in the construction – or the deconstruction – of the anthropological object. Continue reading