Giulio Mantecchini, alumnus, talks about his studies.

Inge studied Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship

Inge Dekker

"When I had just finished my Bachelor’s in journalism (four years ago), I visited the open day for Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship. There, Yvon's speech convinced me that this was the programme I had always been looking for but never found; Anthropology as a science where doubt, complexity, philosophy and connection were at its core. Looking back, I can only say the Master’s, and definitely also the pre-Master’s, truly answered to the promises made in that information session.

The (pre)Master’s helped me to transform my ideas and feelings about the world we live in into research questions, concepts, and arguments. The courses provided space and information to deeply dive into big societal issues and debate about them. This is something I always wanted to do, but which I hadn’t been able to find in other programs. The (pre)Master’s also gave me the freedom to follow my own interests in essays and papers and be creative in the execution, which I really appreciated. Of course no programme is perfect, but the lecturers and coordinators in CASC were very open to feedback and took it into consideration. Besides, they themselves set a strong, flexible, and positive example for us as students.

Recently graduated from the programme, I have quite a good sense of what I can do, both professionally and personally, with the skills and knowledge obtained during the pre-Master’s and Master’s. Today, I have taken the opportunity to write an article for publication with my thesis supervisor and hope to be able to pursue research that creates more appreciation, hope, understanding and justice."

Luc studied Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship

Luc Lauwers

"Refugees that enter 'Fortress Europe' on the Mediterranean or climb fences in Morocco; anti-government demonstrations in Novi Sad, Athens, Madrid and Budapest; violent protest in Düsseldorf against the ECB – not to mention IS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabab or so-called ‘hate imams’ – these are all examples of citizens raising their voices, demanding change and challenging systems around them. My Master’s helped me understand these events and the people that join them, as well as to comprehend the impact on (other) people’s identification processes such as the youngsters I work with on a daily basis.

During my bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology I developed a focus on European integration, specifically on how people in post-socialist countries claim and contest their position within the broader socio-political and cultural sphere of what is often simply called “Europe”.

Against a background of economic and political crises, during my Master’s I got the chance to further unravel the idea of “Europeannes” and how it relates to important concepts such as identity, nation, citizenship and sovereignty. By focusing on innovative research methods such as narrative and digital ethnography I dealt with inevitable power relations that characterise both doing fieldwork and writing ethnography. Together with young intellectuals and socio-political activists in Novi Sad, Serbia I investigated how young citizens use, invoke and rely on certain stories to pursue a better future and to belong to the community they want to be part of.

Today, in my work this is an important insight. Since September 2014 I work for Critical Mass, an organisation that uses anthropological, socio-psychological and conflict theories in order to enhance active citizenship and to raise awareness for diversity, prejudice, discrimination and exclusion. We translate this into practical installations and workshops by using games and films that we develop ourselves. As I mostly work with young people (12-24) from various cultural and social backgrounds it is of great use to have an open mind and to fully comprehend the stories they tell, but also to ask the right questions and to see the right things."