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The SEG-Interface Commission Autumn meeting on 30 September at Fondation Boninchi, Geneva

Article by Dr.Shabih Zaidi

A trip to meet fellow Engaged Anthropologists! What could be more exciting, particularly after the long Covid social drought? Some of us had met online for the first time and so it was interesting to take a new relationship and finally meet in person. We were gathering to connect, discuss and present on the topic of Engaged Knowledge Creations in Anthropology.

The wealth of experience and passion captured in our many different interactions beyond Academia was clear from the first presentation. In the room we were experiencing many forms of engagement and knowledge production. The common thread throughout the day was co-creation and amplification of voices through connection. This is not easily done and yet the passion to pursue whilst constantly trying to remain mindful of one’s positionality allowed for critically exploring areas of engagement in social spaces.

In Anthropology, our training enables us to unpack complexity, systems-logic, power structures that lead to inequity, to research both the familiar and unfamiliar, so applying these methods to solve practical problems seemed a likely step for us. Can we be the catalysts that mediate or are we entwined and entangled? What are the rules of engagement?

How do we participate, process, access and reflect so that knowledge creation is collaborative and relational? What does co-creation ask from us and what do we want to achieve as a group to add to the discourse, perhaps challenge and be challenged, shift and be shifted but work together to build bridges! Engaged Anthropology is dynamic, it has impact, and is everchanging as we too adapt to the world around us.

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