Anthropological Place: Summary of Essence

As part of my research I will be discussing Marc Augé’s Non-Place and Anthropological Place differentiation. In this post I will be discussing primarily Anthropological Place and what it entails and why it matters for contemporary society. First a preliminary we must first discuss Michel de Certeau’s space and place from his book the Practice of Everyday Life (1984). Space is a frequented place or rather a “practice place”. It is a spontaneous configuration of geometric points in a given location. Place according to de Certeau is static and systematic, its built on rules and regulations. Which leads us to Anthropological Place, Augé’s definition of a common place with relative identity driven history. Although there is little contradiction between the works of de Certeau and Augé, Augé has elements of Certeau Space in his Anthropological Place such as not mentioning that Anthropological Place is not dependent on individuals co-existing and moving within its boundaries.


What is an Anthropological Place according to Augé? An anthropological place is a historically driven place in the combination of relations and identity, of the geometry of lines, intersections of lines and the points of intersection, its time bound, it does not merely record history through places of memories – it participates and reforms it as a gesture of tradition itself, history is not just a spectacle, its integrated and practised not just for the purpose of remembering but acknowledging the group’s identity, using “alternating sacrality” rituals and rites. Its the combination of the repeated semi-fantasy of the founded, the ethnologist’s illusion and indigenous fantasy combined, a world of particular identity, a shared identity, and a individual identity – of a territory founded long ago and re-founded repeatedly to adjust its identity from the external and internal conflicts. It has routes and itineraries to its monumental centre and connects with other frequented places – spaces and centres creating a network of commerce and relations. The monumental centre is the heart, its kept under deep supervision and protected by its autonomous institutional limbs.


Soon in recent times, this place is defusing itself, or pouring over its need for meaning and history over to the itineraries that guide itself to its spaces.



Update: The Peripheral People project: Bhutanese Refugees

Meeting with Michael H.

Michael and I talked about a lot of things regarding the Bhutanese Refugees.

  • It’s over dramatised subject, there are issues of misuse of terms.
  • Be careful of misunderstanding.
  • Nepal actually did help with refugees.
  • Workshop with Carla McK.

Workshop with Rosa R.

  • Using the interview to convey a coherent plot.

Workshop with Paula C.

  • A story about me as well as a subject

Workshop with Jonathan A.

  • Agencies of mental health in culture and society- foucauldian view of mental health
  • The history of psychiatry in western view point.
  • Island-thinking
  • A Topical Paradise by Hernan Diaz
  • The detachment of place that remains isolated. The British Isles or Manhattan can be argued not as islands due to their expansion beyond their shores.
  • Isles of Safety by Tom Vanderbilt
  • J.G. Ballard’s modern day construct
  • Ballard’s term for a traffic island
  • Talking more about the activist,
    Bleak objects

Tutorial with Joe K.

  • “Belongingness” what is that?
    What does it have to do with the Wellcome Collection?
  • Is it a story of belonging?
  • Is it one story?
  • Is it about refugees?
  • Stop using labels and terms and show it.
  • Start making things now.
  • Does it have to be fictionalised and dramatised, why?
  • Simplisticity
  • He is california, is that part of the story?
  • Play around with the order of things?
    Pin down on an aspect.
  • Sylvie and Dan’s opinions
  • Refugee #2’s opinion

Trevor Howard’s Field Officer’s Guide to Anxiety in Soldiers

  • Anticipation
  • Morbid thinking
  • Psychiatric problems
  • Doubtfulness
  • Somatic reactions
  • – Stutter
  • – Distress
  • – Loss of willingness

New ways of Researching – CM (17/01/17)


Here are some of my notes for the research help from Carla. I’ll be creating a gantt chart today for myself to organise a final idea of what I want to do. She did some interesting tasks like ‘point’ and say what the object is not. An automatic writing task to prevent blocks and open up the mind to new ideas. A two hand crayon task to make swirls randomly, each image having multiple suggestive topics or objects to be interpreted.

The Peripheral People – Presentations 1 and 2 – Feedback

Ultimately I started with the theme of Refugees and National Barriers. From that I looked into the displaced group, ‘Lhotshampas‘ as example and evidence of the issues of mobility in the modern era. Although I touched on a few topics and themes, the vibe conclusively seems that I am too wide and general for a 3 minute animation recommendation. I didn’t keep the Wellcome Collection’s archives as the heart of the research or the argument, thus it appears that I have little association with the project to the Wellcome Collection. The overall summery and suggest was that I should focus on a particular aspect of the refugees e.g. The Anxiety and Relief of refugees which was suggested in a biological setting. I can relate to the history of medicine and psychological books as evidence. There was a little amount of interest to the National Happiness Gross, the Bhutanese Refugees issue seem to be an unknown to most in the room. Perhaps this is good for me to unveil it to them. There was suggestion that I should look into the contrasting differences as well of the resettlement and displacement psychology.

There is an interesting book called, ‘Therapeutic care for refugees : no place like home’, edited by Renos K. Papadopoulos. But before I go into things that I want to add there should be things I need to remove or push to the side of this project. 

  • The Discussion of Mobility
  • The Hero Voyager
  • National Identity
  • The History of Bhutan

The last one is a little difficult as not to add, as this is in context a Bhutanese issue from the Elsewhere of the West. It’s important to address this to show the alienation of non-nationality even in remote areas. Even with the additional elements of racism, cultural discrimination and elitism that can be injected into almost any other society of humanity. This (Nation) exacerbates the existing issues.

I suggest looking into the Refugee Experience and what that entails. Perhaps the element of emotional and mental wellbeing is the vessel to the issues of nation. For example the stress and anxiety of being displaced is replaced with a momentary relief from resettlement, longitudinally; a looping effect occurs. Anxiety from the alieness of the host country coupled with uncertainties, local opposition, language barriers and pressure for assimilation is evidential in displaced groups after resettlement. Some ends with suicide or mental instability.

The Wellcome Collection will inform my research ongoing, as part of looking at the issues of long term anxiety and mental health within refugees resettlements. Individually, I will interview and approach the public about the issues of non-nationality, mental health and Bhutan’s History. I want to still keep to the core of criticism of nationalism and nationality restricting mobility. The questions to ask are;

  • What is the refugee experience?
  • Why is it important to look at non-nationals?
  • Why Bhutan as example?

I can use my speculative and critical writing as rhetoric rather than a project manifesto or proposal. Thus I will rewrite a new proposal to clarify the misunderstands and confusions of this pursuit.

Some refugees report to have an initial sense of relief when entering a new country. Some experience elation as they escaped from considerable personal danger. It’s the uncertainties of the asylum-seeking process adding to the pressures they must live with and this insecurity may become a major distressing factor and cause mental illness. Changes in social and cultural life. Assimilation norms for host country and inner conflicts – mental health as well. Refugee Therapy Centre reports issues with Mental Health as a barrier to successful resettlements. Social participation.

Questions to Ask: The Non-Static Barriers of Nation: Hypermodernity

  • What can animation (or moving image) bring to an object, idea or collection that other media cannot bring?

Moving image differs from still imagery and literature in a literal sense; kinaesthetic empathesis. We feel and understand the movements and non-verbal communications from the moving images of animation. Most notably, animation reflects our lives in an encapsulating temporary way. It covers the narrative description albeit not as thorough as literature of empathesis to the exact, due to the direct linear nature of animation and moving image, the viewer is more so an observer than a participant, whereas literature readings are static the reader is able to stand still in a paragraph to interpret the details of the narrative. What animation and moving image can do for this project is encapsulating the wholeness and deliver an general feeling of anxiety and superiority/relieve. Visual and auditory elements provide the sensational experience I’m looking for the mass movement of refugees and non-nationals. The idea of ‘silent suggestions’ Kuleshov effect from the association of images played juxtaposed together show the level of subconsciousness and hyper-detailed nature of moving images and film. This to me is something that can be difficult for literature and narrative writing to achieve, controlling and guiding the audience/viewer/reader to feel or reflect on the topic discussed or the overall message given.

  • What new ideas can an archive provoke?

The concept I am putting forward is reflection on our society of the HERE and NOW in the observation of the ELSEWHERE, and perhaps the past. The provocation would be consideration of what we consider freedom of movement and mobility to be. I want the viewers to consider and perhaps even feel the anxiety and relieve of non-static boarders.

  • What connections will you make between your subject of interest (which may be outside the Collection), and other ideas, cultural artefacts etc. that are present in the Collection?

Ultimately my subject is based on the national hypermodernity of non-static boarders or barriers. I want to link to that idea, I want it to perhaps ring towards the consideration of modernism if possible. The collection itself seems to have several pieces of ethnographic field resources from other cultures but many are based on medicine and academics. Personally I had an agenda to search of anecdotal stories.

  • How can you use moving image to clarify and deepen your relationship with your subject of interest?

I do believe that moving image is a narrative platform to show the linear. As in moving image is temporary-considered. Time is a factor for moving image and there are elements of moving image that cannot be translated well in literature or still images as well. With moving images this can broadly be even just two images placed together in a gallery in my mind. That means that it can be very loose but I want to make it clear that the emotions are key to this storytelling of nationalism and mobility.

  • WHAT is your subject? 

My subject is on the Bhutanese Nepali ethnic displaced people and their story that reflects the artificiality of modern nationalism compared to the freedom of mobility in feudal times.

  • WHY is it important to you? Why are you making it?

This is based on my ethnic group and as a first generation immigrant it is close to my heart to question the very nature of identity in country and geography. Ultimately the mobility of people is important to me. One of the few films on the topic of the displaced group is actually unfitting for a western audience. It’s an overly dramatisation of the Bhutanese government with elements of Kollywood (Kathmandu Nepali Cinema).

  • What is the intellectual and theoretical context of your subject:

The current project idea is based on my dissertation paper and theory on non-static barriers of national boarders. That is to say it is based on the electronic internet base and systematic design of nationalism and the artificialness of hypermodernity to distort and change the message and meaning of geography and reality to social reality and at times not simulate but distort to no end where the original cannot be stated as a simulacra hyperreality.

  • In what ways has this subject been examined in the past? By whom? For what purpose?

This subject is connected to geopolitics, anthropology, ethnology, sociology, iconology, philosophy, ontology, meta-physics, social-commentary, criticism and literature. So it’s fair to say that work is based on the a larger role of intellectual works, however the arts specifically the visual arts is very much new to this nationalism commentary. It’s propagandic in some manner but not against it’s leaning stance on politics – right and left wing.

  • What is the current world of ideas surrounding your subject? Consider the myths surrounding your subject, far and close.

I’m not to sure if I have the right to debunk myths here as they are either known as myths or are still accepted by most as reality. Then again that would be a point to bring light to the issue, I believe the myths on geopolitics and nationalism is probably that nationality and patriotism is the same thing or the fact that patriotism is part of a whole era of group thinking in a massive scale. I’m not too sure what types of misconceptions people have on the topic – be it layman or expert.

  • There are always many ‘ways of speaking’ about your subject’ (social, scientific, political, artistic responses, mass media etc.). Gather interesting quotes, visual materials, audio etc. relating to these points of view.

/see most posts on this topic.

  • HOW will you explore your subject? There are many research approaches and methods available to you. You should imagine what may be most appropriate, challenging and interesting for you to do.

Field research: I’ll be contacting bhutanese refugees in person as well as historic response in the UK. Meaning to travel to historic sites if needed. Most of my research is historic based and anthropological, but a potion of my work comes from documentary research.

  • Think about your options in detail: – Your research will likely involve reading/listening, using the Collection’s catalogue creatively, thinking laterally and making connections between different subjects, narrowing down your focus to a single question or a puzzle that you will explore with this project. You may make mind maps, or Venn diagrams etc. to represent your ‘world of ideas’ about the subject, your ‘world of connections’.
  • – Your research will also involve other methods for exploring your relationship with your subject: writing (poetry, fiction, essay), drawing (observational or from imagination), compiling images/ text/sounds/films, taking photographs, interviewing (experts or subjects), field recording, doing a survey (online, offline), designing a sound track, designing a poster, a propaganda leaflet, organizing an event, a performance etc.
  • SHOW as much relevant materials as possible in your Proposal. This can be materials from the Collection, but also from other sources that you find inspiring.


The Hypermodernity of Non-Static Barriers. Influences part 3

The Nation of France

In this part, I want to talk about the creation of France in the relation of Britain. What I hope this reveals is the nature of nation itself as the object of reflection. I believe, nation is in fact contradistinctive when researching as an anthropological historian. Nation is in fact in this instance is derivative of tribalism, but the distinction comes from the awareness of otherness. Evidently a nation can never fully be held in the higher level, be it, monarchical nobility in relation to religious indoctrination and hierarchical classification. Nation is solidified by the proposing outside forces planning to shift, remove or adjust the traditions or people of the proposed nation.

As such ‘the effects of national patriotism came about due to the presence of Anglo-Scottish and Anglo-French wars and the awareness of ‘Frenchness‘.’France owes a great debt towards England. It is England who caused France to become aware of itself’ (pp. 36). Curiously, François Guizot stated that national sentiment cannot predate the nation of France, as national sentiment is not in fact feudal. The sentiment that predates the nation united the nobility of the burghers and the peasantry with morality and honour to defeat the foreigner threat. It seems that patriotism such as the Duke of Brittany, John VI even though a Breton sentimental patriot, outlines and occurs as by-product of political relationships outside the nation. But can this be applicable anthropologically to other nations and groups? ‘What comes first Geographic Reality? Or the French Nation? France couldn’t just form anywhere’. Nation as a historical phenomenon is image based, it’s symbolic and representative as stated by Tim Marshall describing the ceremonious nature of the US flag for every action. Tim Marshall’s new book ‘the Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags’, talks about the political appropriation and consideration of flag designs. Social reality shows that the cloth with paint can situate individuals to kill, unite, divide, etc. As same with money, it is dependant on the recognition of everyone in the nation, if not it cannot work. I believe that the symbolic representation of nation is enough as a spectre to have power, for the British flag even though losing it’s empire holds strong internationally as a modern financial nation.

The Peripheral People

‘The Peripheral People’ as described in the national question is the people that demand identity recognition, although all independence in mobility has economic and territorial demands, they are at first spiritually founded on names. The Peripheral people that have been displaced insist on their names being recognised. For example, the Kurds being a nation without a state, recognition of their name is for their continuity and their links with their predecessors and descendants.

‘I was condescended to… for daring to say; that I was proud to be British… that I was proud of our nation.’ – Nigel Farage (link) Nationalism and patriotism although terminologically similar are written in distinction of each other. Nationalism is the product of patriotism, a nation cannot stand without patriotism but it is clear that patriotism cannot exist without nation. Which patriotism comes from the superiority complex, the strongest group controlling a region as mentioned by Tim Marshall. Patriotism is that one step too far. What particularly stands out from Farage is the rhetoric and values he invokes, a sense of demand of support and moral concern of nation. Nationalists do not even interact and response in the same reality as Liberal Socialists, the value structure is based on patriotism and nationalism social reality. A common rebut to criticism of nationalism is to ‘leave the nation’. Example from Tomi Lahren a webisodic online news show, one titled from YouTube as ‘Tomi Lahren DESTROYS Colin Kaepernick’, as Tomi Lahren simultaneously yells and robotically criticises Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand to the National anthem of the US. She argues that Kaepernick should leave if he dislikes the nation, from that statement (which I have paraphrased) the geography of the US is the same as the nation of the US to Tomi Lahren. Geopolitics – to disagree with the nation’s history and current crisis of racial tensions and injustices seems to attack the identity of Tomi and National Americans.

The strength of a nation can probably tested by the willingness of the citizens to either die or suffer.

Mobility as a national compared to mobility as a non-national

Firstly I have to describe, the term non-national. This is an umbrella term to describe not just displaced individuals but individuals that do not fit the categorical system that recognise others such as nationality. But the second said group can be groups that nomadically move through the geography freely without recognition or the insistence of recognition. Many individuals in the US have no passport, self-identify as free people. I researched and discussed the power of passports over one another and the lacking of a passport causes anxiety and stress as seen in other examples of displaced people. Although it seems that due to the geopolitical landscape of certain nations like Russia they require to move through other nations for commodities. This causes a reliance on the elsewhere of foreigners to act as neighbours and interact peacefully. A small imbalance could cause war and the restriction of the nationals through the national boundaries. Ultimately, nationality is a double edge sword as much as a declaration of social grouping and tribalism, rival tribes could cause issues with individuals. The reject of national identity might be a choice of freedom that targets the issue of tribalism, with no metaphorical tattoo on them they have no issues with the geopolitical settlers and cannot be perceived as a threat albeit, the Romani and Jews being diasporic people and nomads posed a threat or a nuisance to the perception of Nazi philosophers and supporters.

Summarily, there might be an issue with the perception of the benefits of nationality and non-nationals. Both as individuals can provide to the geographical region and population in turns of culture, farming and commodities exchange. But what is perceived is the non-national plays a role or lack of a role in national security and patriotic safety of knowing the land and it’s people, and in extension the people around it’s exterior. If for one were to see an alien walking down their family space, they would feel a level of xenophobic anxiety of their origins and intentions in your space. But the national with full identification brings a level of understand and a structural standardisation of approaching the individual, if a immigrant were to come from an economical high area the individual would have less resistance, whereas the poor, impoverished immigrant would be seen as a threat of taking the quantifiable resources (be it physical or intellectual) from the nation-state. But due to the superiority complex of nationals in their nation-state, they consider foreigner to be a lesser individual and at first not to acknowledge them as equals. Thus the foreigner would have to produce a great deal to be recognised from the nation if not they will either fade or be enveloped in continuous resistance. So either be recognised and judged by the nation or denied and removed.


Torpey, John. The invention of the passport: surveillance, citizenship, and the state. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2000.

The Hypermodernity of Non-Static Barriers. Influences part 2


BrainStuff – HowStuffWorks’ video on the purpose of passport details the origins and the specific reasoning why passports are needed in our international connected world.


Note the anxiety and stress of BBC News’ ‘Exodus: I tried to fly to London on a fake passport’ video on faking a passport. Hassan Smuggling himself to London seems to cause anger towards the commenters (assumingly as it is now a disabled section), I believe that Hassan’s portrayal of humanising himself with a POV and his clarity of English is mixed up with the breaking of these international boarders causing deep disapproval and reaction. Even though the status of refugee is a person of vulnerability, due to the region’s conflict with Islamic Terrorism – individuals carry strong resistance to taking in Syrian Refugees in. Nationalism plays a role of identity of being British or English. Whereas non-British are suspicious and enigmatic.


Further note, ’25 Most Powerful Passports In The World You Might Want To Possibly Own’ video by list25. Nationality is constructed and valued in a hierarchy based on socio-economical statuses of the region it holds. Evidently post-imperialist nations carry the most powerful passports, validating and encouraging the commoditisation of nationality identity.


Seeker Daily’s video investigates and informs the availability of purchasing citizenship, inserting the capital element towards nationalism and nation-state. Even in other videos of Seeker Daily, they investigate and inform the difficulties of certain nations immigration.

The Hypermodernity of Non-Static Barriers. Influences

‘What sets humans apart is their capacity for symbolic behaviour, expressed in material culture such as artefacts and structures.’

What strikes me as an interest was the Waltz with Bashir film scene where Ari Folman is in a halluciation-like state delirium. We sees the complexities and immaculate alienation of the airport and the state of reality that comes to Ari as he realises he is afraid. We sees the decay and the remnants of the airport’s destruction in Beirut in his perspective. This plays into only a personal experience perspective, it’s anecdotal. I want to use the emotions of Relieve and Anxiety. As these are the emotions associated with the hypermodernity of these non-static barriers, e.g. an e-assport terminal barrier.

I believe that Barry Cunliffe’s Britain Begins is a great addition to the telling of my animation documentary. He talks about the cause of rare commodities to catalyse the mobility of native Britons and the continent together. Just like Marc Augé Barry Cunliffe notes the limitations one dimensional thinking of historian research alone. Cunliffe states that the 1980s Archaeoogy was rather crudely characterised as the study of other people’s rubbished restrictive to mapping out the history of Britain. With the study of DNA and stable isotopes, there is a clarity unlike before. Similarly, Marc Augé criticises the Historical Anthropology terminology, rather he believes Anthropological History is appropriate. Even so, Historians cannot be Anthropologists unless they are present in the sites they research and the people. ‘Only by using Archaeology, Genetics and bone chemistry together can we augment and constrain each other shall we be able to begin to move to a new understanding of the people of the islands and their formative millennia’.

Barry Cunliffe states that rare commodities created the means of connection of communities and social engagement. Confusable to the intentions of Capitalism and Consumerism. But I believe that Hypermodernity, Capitalism and Consumerism is not based on the mobility of trade of commodities as much as the means of control of the networks established and fastlining individuals to take advantage of money. Cunliffe goes on to mention the Hero Voyager, previously the ship master was alone a respectable profession, but as time pasted, the profession became a common commodity. Part of social culture. ‘By the middle of the second millennium the novelty of travel and of the visible display of the journey through acquired foreign commodities, have begun to diminish. Seafaring continued, but it was now more the province of the trader than of the hero. The new Hero Voyages came from the common language from the Beaker ideology and the continent of Europe.

Cunliffe mentions the enclosing of the homestead created boundaries to show privacy and ownership. The creation of inside and outside zones of different functions. Where some populations were sparse and dispersed they were more egalitarian whereas the densely settled areas a more complex social hierarchy seems to have developed. Further in the book, Cunliffe talks about the Romans keeping surveillance on the military zones of Wales and North, they would move into barbarian territories to stop raids from the Free Scotland population. Cunliffe stresses our innate need for mobility and the enriching of it for society and culture. He states that it is inherent and we as a species are naturally curious, inquisitive and acquisitive, instincts that provide the impetus for mobility. He gives example of Victorian commodities such as Umbrellas made from Elephant foots, a rare commodity from a misty mysterious land above and beyond the horizon.

I dipped into the National Question by Roy Porter and Mikuláš Teich, I liked the quote for the slight uneasy agreement of Nation as a historical phenomenon being temporary and bound to end. Stating that there might be a European Confederation succeeding it. I proceeded to look into Passports, and I got to see a famous passport from a world class scientist. I see that they travelled throughout the world from the need of surgeons. Without the concept of Nation and National identity, would the passport be useful? No. But the mobility is open throughout the world to this individual, adventure awaits. But whereas an individual is without currency and national identity (even a weaker one) is unable to access these transits. The passport is desirable. But nonetheless a lie that causes anxiety and schadenfreude-like relieve.

The National Question: Europe in Historical Context by Roy Porter and Mikuláš Teich

Warped Space: Art, Architecture, and Anxiety in Modern Culture by Anthony Vidler

Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation by David Lyon and Zygmunt Bauman

The Invention of the Passport: Surveilance, Citizenship, and the State by John Torpey

Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity by Marc Augé

Britain Begins by Barry Cunliffe