The beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic has marked a significant change in ZMO's work routine. Not only is everyone working from home now, but also visits to conferences are cancelled and no one knows when it is possible to conduct fieldwork again, a central part of ZMO-based research. However, we continue to be strongly connected to our regions of research (some of us are on site). As we are in exchange with colleagues, friends and interlocutors, we are following closely to what extent the Corona pandemic and the subsequent health and economic crisis is affecting people’s experience in their everyday lives, how the state intervenes and regulates, and what else is changing. As scholars of the humanities and social sciences we do not contribute to research on the virus in scientific and medical terms, but we can contribute by adding certain critical and historical perspectives to the discussion, as well as information about specific social contexts as they are experienced by people in the regions. Adding such kinds of insights, commentaries, and reflections on the corona crisis, both on and from our regions of research, and making them accessible, we think, is itself a valuable contribution to the understanding of the current crisis as a complex and locally specific global phenomenon. It is by no means certain what the experiences of the Global South will be and we underline the openness of what we are currently imagining to witness.
We have asked our researchers, colleagues, alumni and former academic visitors to share with us their thoughts, observations, reflections and first reports in this unique situation. All contributions are listed below.
We highly recommend the thematic blogs from our partner institutions, the blog of the project "Religious Matters in an Entangled World" at Utrecht University, the article series of The Governance Programme at Aga Khan University and the blog “Medizinethnologie”.