UCL Anthropology


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The Making of a Paper Crisis: Coexisting with COVID-19 in Indonesia


The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly far from over in Indonesia. In fact, as I write this piece (June 6th), the COVID-19 infections are constantly escalating. Each day we set a new record of infection numbers. However, many people do not feel like we are approaching a critical juncture of the pandemic. The public, for one, is not as vigilant compared to the first weeks after the first and second infections announced by the President.

The Case Against The ‘Singularity’


The definition of a ‘Singularity’ is something with ‘an unusual or distinctive manner or behaviour’. Something, or an event, that is ‘out of the ordinary’. Something that can be perceived to be so rare that it doesn’t warrant serious consideration, even though its impact may be devastating. So, does that mean that we shouldn’t be prepared for such events? If not, why not? Are ‘Singularities’ real, or merely constructs of a risk-averse human culture?

Caring in the times of Corona


How does one write about social isolation, mental health issues, and care work-induced fatigue in a local context already scarred with abandonment, loneliness and chronic caregiving? In what ways has the pandemic entered these contexts and what can we gain by attending to the pandemic’s mode of entry into already fragile lives?

The Virus And Fear: How Will We Deal With These Two Pandemics?


Considered the most severe respiratory syndrome since the Spanish flu (an H1N1 pandemic) in 1918, which killed between 20 and 50 million people worldwide[1], the Covid-19 pandemic has been spreading fear and uncertainty in the population.

Goethe wears a mask against COVID-19


Did Johann Wolfgang von Goethe—the eminent German intellectual of the modern era—wear a mask in his lifetime?

Although the question is interesting, the answer is unknown. Nonetheless, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Goethe is wearing a mask–on his statue on Vienna’s renowned Ringstrasse (Ring Street), near to Austria’s National Opera House. Masks are certainly symbolic, and symbols are pregnant with multiple meanings, literal as well as metaphorical.