COVID-19: THE SYSTEM, Part 2

In Part 1 we ended with the documentary’s discussion of the type of business model that has been created around COVID-19, or to match the title of the film, a system. The system consists of interlocking and mutually enforcing actors, institutions, and processes: Government, working in tandem with establishment scientists, transnational business interests and the […]

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After a Year of Being Locked Down

Nobody (as far as I know) has commented on how hard this year of lockdowns has been on university professors. That’s good: nobody should. Many millions of workers at home and abroad, and those who have lost employment, or their health, have had a far worse time. In part because of COVID-19, and in even larger part because of the disproportional political responses that were rooted in neither science nor logic, but rather an effort to criminalize and distract populations, the world has experienced an infernal year. It is not yet over, even as a couple of countries in the Centre/the First World/the Global North begin to reopen. In most other countries, the situation remains dire, and in quite a few it is even worsening. New states of emergency, new curfews, and some particularly virulent strains of the virus (particularly the Brazilian and Indian mutations), combined with porous borders and inept state management, result in Year Two of misery. If one has faith in the efficacy and safety of mRNA treatments called vaccines, then one should note how uneven and unequal the global distribution of these products has been, a fact that brings back to life what never really went away: a worldwide division between Centre and Periphery. “The coming year could be a story of two worlds undermining each other,” as explained in an article in The Atlantic. It will be 2022 already when vaccines will become available to more than just 20% of the world’s population, and in the meantime populations in most of the world are dealing with sometimes monstrous mutations.

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The Pandemic: Indigenous Perspectives on Survival, Adaptation, Rebuilding, and Preparedness

Statement released by Chief Ricardo Bharath Hernandez, Santa Rosa First Peoples Community, Arima, Trinidad & Tobago, June 16, 2020. As Amerindians/Indigenous Peoples in the Caribbean, we are historically well acquainted with a series of epidemics and pandemics. We therefore have a lot of historical experience in suffering and surviving from both local epidemics and regional […]

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Goodbye “American Greatness”

Part 3 of 5 of the COVID-19 Series. Indispensable. Here was the so-called “indispensable nation,” the self-appointed saviour of the world, with generations of its leaders and thinkers thinking, speaking, and writing as if God had appointed “America” to lead the world. A world without America, we were told by Americans, would be so much […]

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Land, Labour, and Power in a Colonial Catholic Mission in Trinidad

Colonial propaganda that masks “humanitarianism” behind self-interest, and breeds euphemisms that are inversions of reality, constitute the recurring subjects of the critiques produced on Zero Anthropology. Little of what we encounter in the present is either new or “original”: much of the “foreign policy” language of elite geopolitical strategists is in fact derived from much […]

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New Book: ARIMA BORN

Arima Born Revealing the History of Arima and its Mission through the Catholic Church’s Baptismal Registers, 1820–1916 by Maximilian C. Forte Montreal: Alert Press, 2019 The Catholic Mission of Santa Rosa is something that helped to make Arima a distinctive town in Trinidad, accounting for nearly half of the Amerindian population of the colony in […]

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Immigration and Capital

Immigration, rightly or wrongly, has been marched to the frontline of current political struggles in Europe and North America. Whether exaggerated or accurate, the role of immigration is situated as a central factor in the Brexit referendum in the UK, and the rise of the “America First” Trump movement in the US. It seems impossible […]

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Keep Your Money: A Series on Dignity

This is the first part of a series on dignity that will appear on ZA, featuring the usual collage of songs, history, documents, and short essays. While there are treatments of “dignity” in Western philosophy, it is interesting to note the absence of the idea as a concept in the works of most anthropologists, which […]

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Neocolonialism: It’s Post-Independence, Not Post-Colonial

Unintended Open Source Ethnography For as much serendipity as conventional, on the ground, ethnography is known to entail, the “approach” discussed here is barely an approach at all: it was unprovoked, unplanned, without coordination, being neither methodical nor systematic.  It became a collaboration, out of mutual interest, from distinct and separate positions, but there was […]

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New Release: INDIGENOUS COSMOPOLITANS

Finally, after three years of work, my newest edited volume is out: Indigenous Cosmopolitans Transnational and Transcultural Indigeneity in the Twenty-First Century Reviewers’ comments: “Timely and original, this volume looks at indigenous peoples from the perspective of cosmopolitan theory and at cosmopolitanism from the perspective of the indigenous world. In doing so, it not only […]

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Dis Location: Arrival as Independence

I know I am not the only one who misses the verbal lashes of The Watchman (Wayne Hade of Trinidad, a former police constable) and I thank Guanaguanare very much for taking the time to produce a written transcription of this calypso, as follows below the video. Of course trinidesi also deserves many thanks for […]

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