In my line of research, I often ask respondents, “do you feel a sense of community” in their country of asylum. This question prompts various responses, where some have found their “tribe” and others feel like a lone wolf. Their answer often informs my follow-up question: “do you regret your initial decision to leave your […]
It’s scary here. I can’t find my footing. I don’t feel the earth beneath me. I’m floating. Untethered. It’s a privilege to be here. To be a voyeur in people’s lives with my camera and tell their stories. To try and make meaning of what’s happened to them…of what happened to me. The road is […]
Street-level accoglienza (reception) is a concept that I developed while doing ethnographic research on migrant reception and solidarity initiatives in the Central Mediterranean between the years of 2014 and 2019. The concept is derived in part from Michael Lipsky’s “street-level bureaucrats”, i.e., those state actors who are thought to enact policies and give them shape […]
When I arrived in Belgium for my Fulbright grant a few weeks before winter 2021 I was, about as literally as possible, a fish out of water. Upon getting my bearings and meeting locals I began to receive a common question: why did you choose Belgium? To this I had come up with a pithy […]
From 27 to 29 April 2022, the Fulbright Commission in Brussels facilitated the participation of 25 current American Fulbrighters and 25 European alumni of EU-funded exchange programs in the 2022 EU-US Young Leaders Seminar on the Future of Democracy. The event marked the fifth iteration of the EU-US Young Leaders Seminar, which was first held […]
I have celiac disease, which means I have a gluten allergy. If I eat food that contains gluten, I get sick. Moving to Vienna, Austria and spending extended lengths of time in Sweden for my Fulbright research means I have spent a lot of time staring at the shelves in supermarkets, trying to figure out […]
Are you familiar with Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm”? Inspired by this song, this blogpost is dedicated to all people and organizations in Louisiana who give, advocate for and lay the groundwork for the delivery of decent shelter to all human beings from recurrent storms and other stormy life events. I invite you to listen to this beautiful song while you read this post.
Overture: American words, European thoughts “You enter a kind of altered, out of body state. I can’t explain it, probably no one can. You’ll get it after a few months. Good luck”. So said a friend and Fulbright alum to Asia in the 2010s after an impromptu pre-departure dis-orientation last summer as we hugged and […]
Having grown up on a dwarf planet in the solar system of the United States’ cultural imperialism, my frame of reference is replete with American products, phenomena, and even phrases. While the orbital elements of U.S. hegemony – politics, news, and entertainment – have thus shaped how I look at the world, life in my native country, the Netherlands, only exposed me to reflections and derivatives of life in the American center of gravity.
Going from law to science and diplomacy, my Fulbright Schuman experience took me out of my comfort zone, challenged my leadership skills, and exposed me to some of the top marine mammal scientists in the world.