Reptiles such as this yellow-banded poison dart frog circulate on the black market. Photo by Adrian Pingstone via Wikimedia Commons.
What do murder, microfinance, and black markets in reptiles have in common? They all featured as part of a panel called “Circulation in Times of Crisis” at the Australian Anthropology Society conference in Canberra from the 5th to 8th November. Convened by Heather Horst and Marta Rosales, this panel explored the relationships between flows and blockages of people, things, information, and media.
First up, Jolynna Sinanan (UCL) talked about the effects of the global financial crisis on women working in garment factories in Cambodia. The garment sector comprises 16% of Cambodia’s GDP, and is an important employer of women, who make long, daily commutes on open trucks rather than run the risks of running their own businesses. Jolynna argued that their preference for wage labour is at odds with development programs’ encouragement of entrepreneurship as a path out of poverty. Crisis promotes a search for security. [click to continue…]
Entering the Dominican Republic on market day.
Maria crossed the border into the Dominican Republic in 1979. Tired of searching endlessly for work in her home town of Thiotte, Haiti, she settled in Aguas Negras permanently to work illegally in the local coffee industry.
Her daughter, Fredelina, was born two years later in a tiny house made of sticks and mud. Although both her mother and her father were illegal immigrants, Fredelina was automatically entitled to citizenship under the Dominican constitution.
Yet Maria never got Fredelina a Dominican birth certificate. Having official personal identification just didn’t seem very important. By law, no child can be denied a primary school education, and most of the time they were too busy working in the fields for her to attend classes. An ID card isn’t needed to pick coffee, sell beans in the market, visit hospitals, or even to cross the border into Haiti.
Read the rest of this article in The Huffington Post.