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The Interface Commission aims to increase the visibility and presence of engaged anthropology in the public sphere and promote engagement with and knowledge production about wider societal dynamics as a response to global challenges of our times. It seeks to foster communication and collaboration among anthropologists and broader publics. The goal is to transform the ways anthropologists process and mediate new knowledge and relationships on the ground. We seek to nurture engaged anthropology in Switzerland among science-policy-society with a collective voice and inter-face through dialogue and collective projects mediated by multi-modal ways of co-creation and participation.




  • Serve as a platform for discussing and exchanging ideas on how to make anthropology more visible and relevant for public debates.

  • Showcase projects that cooperate with various stakeholders and public actors in Switzerland and abroad.

  • Serve as a platform of discussion through which transformative ideas be implemented via alliances, coalitions and partnerships at individual to institutional levels.

  • Provide resources and produce publications that would help anthropologists respond to challenges of higher education and wider societal concerns.

  • Introduce new discourses and bridge narratives around engaged anthropology.

  • Organise and host workshops, roundtables , conversations and summer schools that build capacity and strengthen the ecosystem in Switzerland around engaged anthropology.

  • Support and mentor engaged anthropologists on how to interact with the media and communicate with the broader public.

  • Serve as a collection of resources, a knowledge hub for most up to date and trailblazing visionary ideas.

  • Promote unconventional, audio-visual and multi-modal ways of anthropological engagement.

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Organising  Members

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Peter Bille Larsen

Lectures in anthropology, heritage, sustainability and governance at the University of Geneva. Primary fieldwork sites include the Peruvian Amazon, VietNam...


Doris Bacalzo

is an associate researcher at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Lucerne. She has extensive research experience in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. Her broad research interests are on the political economy of gender, kinship, childhood, inequalities, migration, social transformation... 

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Eda Elif Tibet

an award winning documentary filmmaker and visual anthropologist. She is a postdoctoral researcher at Wyss Academy UniBern working on just conservation and biodiversity governance. She also leads her own independent applied research initiative "Animating the Commons"

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Susan Riva

is a mediator and social scientist. She studied International Affairs in Boulder, Colorado and Mediation at the Kurt Bösch University Institute, now the University of Geneva’s Valais Campus....


Leila Barrachini

holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and Art Theory from the University of Neuchâtel and the EHESS. Her researches focus on the commodification of culture and identity, on the work of mediation and translation involved in the making of contemporary indigenous arts....

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Fiona Siegenthaler

is an art historian and social anthropologist with a specialization in the interdisciplinary field of contemporary African art, performance, and visual culture. She is a Research Associate at the Visual Identities, Art, and Design Research Center (University of Johannesburg)...

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Patrik Naef

is a senior research associate at the University of Geneva. As a trained anthropologist and a cultural geographer, he is conducting research on collective memory; violence and criminal governance; the transformation of cities and the critical approaches to ‘resilience’...

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Claire Vionnet

is an Anthropologist, Dance Scholar and Dancer. She wrote a PhD on the creation of gestures in contemporary dance, exploring notions of body, improvisation, senses, shadow/ghost, production processes, autoethnography, phenomenology (University of Lausanne, 2018)...

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Mo Bleeker

Works at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland since 2003, where she acts as Swiss Special Envoy for Dealing with the Past and atrocity Prevention. Mô combined work abroad in conflict contexts with numerous activities in Switzerland in the field of integration of marginalised adults...

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Shabih Zaidi

A Cultural Anthropologist with a passion for building connections through embracing diversity. Her PhD research on Globally Mobile Intellectual Capital probes the everyday lives of Corporate Executives and their families through sensorial narratives; using the senses to connect and create a sense of belonging in the corporate and private spheres. 

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Laure Sandoz

currently works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Geography, University of Neuchâtel. She is part of the NCCR On the Move, an interdisciplinary project financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation, which aims to enhance the understanding of contemporary migration patterns....


Mike Poltorak

Dr Mike Poltorak is a social, medical and visual anthropologist and has researched in Tonga, New Zealand, UK, Germany and Sweden and published widely on themes related to vaccination, traditional healing, mental illness, public psychiatry and teaching visual anthropology. He has produced four ethnographic documentaries...


Lea Helfenstein

 studied cultural sciences with major anthropology in her Bachelor in Lucerne. She is a member of the SAA Board as the student representative of the german speaking students in Switzerland. Together with Sarah Keller Lea launches the Student Forum, an organization with the aim of connecting, networking, exchanging and collaborating with and amongst anthropology students in Switzerland.

Sarah Keller

Sarah Helena Keller is currently in her Bachelors studying Social Anthropology with a minor in Indology at the University of Zürich. She is interested in bridging the distance between academic and engaged anthropology...

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