… I have a passion for social change. Work with me because I want to promote the more transparent and collaborative academia, where we work with instead of just ‘for’ communities. Work with me because I am not afraid to try new things, and work through mistakes and hurdles to make things work and better. Work with me because you’re looking for an ethnographer who can connect with people of all backgrounds. Work with me because I love to collaborate with people from all backgrounds, academic and non-academic, employer or business owner, charity or beneficiary, and everyone in between, because I believe that everyone has something to say, and has the right and skills to contribute to knowledge and our understanding of the world.
My research interests include, but are not limited to:
Community, Policies and a Changing world
Geographies of community history and how these influence contemporary communities and their progress into and envisioning the future are the key focus of my current PhD project. I’m interested in the experiences of people living in local communities guided by national policies and affected by societal change, and how local business, organisations and governments deal with the perhaps misunderstood but giant differences between the issues affecting a nation and those affecting only particular parts of the country or even individuals. Where there are big changes, people are going to be affected. This should not be just a given fact, but a consideration for all of those who are behind the wheel of those big changes. We have to explore how these big changes (might) affect individual lives in order to see if we can make sure that nobody gets left behind.
Colonial History and Postcolonial Future
During my first degree I developed a passion for British and more general European colonial history and its aftermath, focusing on things such as inequalities, racism and how our currently globalizing world deals with this history when trying to look at and envisioning the future. Despite mainly focusing on community and policy in my current project, in future research projects I hope to contribute to a developing academic canon that seeks to improve our understanding of this post-colonial world in cultural, sociological and geographical contexts. I believe the world is an amazing place, shaped by centuries of intercultural contact and conflict, all culminating in an ever so much connected and globalized form of community. In what forms does the past still manage to survive in the present and will we carry it on forever in our future, and if so, how? As a lesson or as a guide?
Words over Numbers
Numbers are great. Especially the numbers 42, 1024, 1701 and 1337. If you’re a nerd like me, you’ll understand. Nonetheless, numbers, when talking of statistics, can give us a lot of useful information about what is going on in the world. We can see which communities are the wealthiest, and which are the most deprived. And then what? We could seek out and publish a lot of other numbers, for example numbers providing us with potential strategies to either maintain or improve the situation as it is. But what does it tell us about the community itself? Communities, counties, countries and the world do not consist of numbers to me. They are made up of people, experiences, loves and hates, passions and wishes, mistakes and successes; they are made up of stories. Without knowing the people and their stories, a strategy aiming to improve whatever situation will be generic rather than fitting the people who are supposed to benefit from the changes instigated by this strategy. Therefore, I consider numbers a great starting point, to guide us towards the places and people who are in need of help. But without getting to know those places and people, how can we know what they need?