Tensions and negotiations for NGOs organizing and human rights in Morocco and Western Sahara

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Collaborative knowledge production is a transitory process where ethnographers and activists are involved in a
symbiotic relationship in which they adopt each others’ tools and methods while having different ideological interests (Rabinow, 1977). Activists often attempt to maximize Western “resources” by using ethnographers’ findings for political concerns; their Western status becomes a decoy in activist tactics to attract police interventions. Such tensions increase when the “at-home” setting of the informants reflects the colonial design of nation states. In such instances, “foreign” ethnographers lack a stable “at home/abroad,” “here/there” distinction to fall back on, since the field is a contested site, subject to ongoing negotiations among international regimes. Drawing on fieldwork with activist NGOs in Morocco and the Western Sahara, I will reflect on this conundrum by addressing the questions: Through what ways can an ethnographer “become a native” in contexts where “at home” and “abroad” are fragmented and continually shifting concepts? What are the implications of collaborative knowledge production for Moroccan based activist NGOs?
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventWorld Congress of Middle Eastern Studies -
Duration: 16. Jul 201822. Jul 2018

Conference

ConferenceWorld Congress of Middle Eastern Studies
Period16/07/201822/07/2018

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Western Sahara
knowledge production
Morocco
non-governmental organization
human rights
international regime
tactics
nation state
police
lack
resources

Cite this

Albu, O. B. (2018). Tensions and negotiations for NGOs organizing and human rights in Morocco and Western Sahara. Paper presented at World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies, .
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abstract = "Collaborative knowledge production is a transitory process where ethnographers and activists are involved in asymbiotic relationship in which they adopt each others’ tools and methods while having different ideological interests (Rabinow, 1977). Activists often attempt to maximize Western “resources” by using ethnographers’ findings for political concerns; their Western status becomes a decoy in activist tactics to attract police interventions. Such tensions increase when the “at-home” setting of the informants reflects the colonial design of nation states. In such instances, “foreign” ethnographers lack a stable “at home/abroad,” “here/there” distinction to fall back on, since the field is a contested site, subject to ongoing negotiations among international regimes. Drawing on fieldwork with activist NGOs in Morocco and the Western Sahara, I will reflect on this conundrum by addressing the questions: Through what ways can an ethnographer “become a native” in contexts where “at home” and “abroad” are fragmented and continually shifting concepts? What are the implications of collaborative knowledge production for Moroccan based activist NGOs?",
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Albu, OB 2018, 'Tensions and negotiations for NGOs organizing and human rights in Morocco and Western Sahara' Paper presented at World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies, 16/07/2018 - 22/07/2018, .

Tensions and negotiations for NGOs organizing and human rights in Morocco and Western Sahara. / Albu, Oana Brindusa.

2018. Paper presented at World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies, .

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaperResearchpeer-review

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AB - Collaborative knowledge production is a transitory process where ethnographers and activists are involved in asymbiotic relationship in which they adopt each others’ tools and methods while having different ideological interests (Rabinow, 1977). Activists often attempt to maximize Western “resources” by using ethnographers’ findings for political concerns; their Western status becomes a decoy in activist tactics to attract police interventions. Such tensions increase when the “at-home” setting of the informants reflects the colonial design of nation states. In such instances, “foreign” ethnographers lack a stable “at home/abroad,” “here/there” distinction to fall back on, since the field is a contested site, subject to ongoing negotiations among international regimes. Drawing on fieldwork with activist NGOs in Morocco and the Western Sahara, I will reflect on this conundrum by addressing the questions: Through what ways can an ethnographer “become a native” in contexts where “at home” and “abroad” are fragmented and continually shifting concepts? What are the implications of collaborative knowledge production for Moroccan based activist NGOs?

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Albu OB. Tensions and negotiations for NGOs organizing and human rights in Morocco and Western Sahara. 2018. Paper presented at World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies, .