Destination 3 & 4: Wageningen University, The Netherlands & Aarhus University, Denmark

“Time could not be kept at bay. The more it goes, the more it’s gone, the more it takes away”

Written by Lang Leav

It has been a while since I have updated this website or written a blog post. This is not due to lack of motivation, but due to lack of time. In a way, this blog makes me realize even more that time is (sometimes literally) flying and that we can only spend it once. I know that everyone has 24 hours to spend every day and that the difference is the way that we choose to spend it. However, most of the time I feel, like a lot of people do, that I could do with 36, or maybe even 48, hours a day, because boy where has the time gone. I am now halfway through my first year of my PhD and this thought scares me more than I like to admit. My sole consolation: people still seem to believe that Brexit is going to happen within a two-year timespan. If that’s the case, I should be able to finish my PhD within the next two-and-a-half ;) #noguarantees

In this blog post, I will tell you a bit about both my third and fourth destination:

Destination 3: I went back to The Netherlands to follow a PhD Course on ‘Spatial Thinking: the Politics of Place’ at Wageningen University at the end of April and the start of May. During this course it was discussed that the concept of place, as much as time, is an elusive one. It is constructed and we are all responsible for this. People, our social relations, our culture, our understanding of space through education and our different convictions, shape the way that we talk, think and theorize about the world around us. Whilst studying this topic, I got to experience this sensation as well. Though it was amazing to be back in The Netherlands for a few weeks, I found that it is also quite hard at times. The space around me has changed, people have changed, and I have changed and am looking at The Netherlands with new eyes. Admittedly, at some moments I felt like a tourist in my own country, where I have lived for so many years, and this is quite confrontational. However, it turns out that many PhD students that start living and working in another place than where they come from and where their home is find it hard to return sometimes for this reason: change is taking place all the time and it seems impossible to keep up with all of it. Nevertheless, it has been amazing to see some of my family and my friends again and I realize now that, though living and working in Denmark is amazing, I do miss them.

Destination 4: with some of my colleagues, we took a 2-day trip to Aarhus University in Denmark at the end of May. Here, we had a roundtable session with Professor Tania Murray Li and attended the annual lecture that she was giving on her most recently published book: Land’s End. It was super awesome to meet such an inspiring anthropologist, who has dedicated her working life to unravelling how land and its assets are distributed in the highlands of the Indonesian island Sulawesi. Both this roundtable session and Professor Li her lecture have given me new inputs to develop my own research project. In addition, this trip has been great, because it has given me and my colleagues a lot of opportunity to talk about our research projects and get to know each other a little bit better.

In my next blog post, I will tell you all about my next PhD course ‘Environmental Justice’, organized by my own department at the University of Copenhagen, and about the Rule and Rupture Summer Lab 2017 to Klitgården in Skagen, Denmark!