C1 Anthropological view in the globalizing world


Panel organisers: Marek Halbich, Alemayehu Kumsa

(Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague; Institute of Ethnology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague)

This panel was partially financed by GA ČR grant GPP410/12/P860 Ekologická změna na Madagaskaru: Betsimisarakové v glokalizovaném světě.


The panel will focus on the theoretical and practical contributions dealing with reciprocal interconnection of the local environments with regional, national or supranational (global) environment in the social, political, economic, environmental, etc. field in Europe, but especially in countries and regions of the developing world. We welcome papers, among others, in the context of anthropology of globalisation, anthropology of colonialism and post-colonialism, glocal ethnography, political ecology, local knowledge, anthropology of development, etc., focusing for example on rejuvenated forms of nationalism, social exclusion, local and regional political movements and other forms of political activism, land ownership (especially landgrabbing), tourist worlds and their participation in the transformation of local communities, environmental change, particularly in developing countries (e.g. the local population adaptation to climate change, natural disasters, etc.), violence and conflict in the public space, etc., while the consideration will be in accordance with the overall proposition of conference put on a multidisciplinary approach, i.e., they are welcome also sociological, politological, (ethno)historical, sociolinguistic, cognitive and other papers from related sciences.




Friday, September 12, 2014


14:00-17:30 Anthropological view in the globalizing world

Chairs: Marek Halbich and Alemayehu Kumsa


14:00-14:30        Alemayehu Kumsa: The struggle between State nationalism and nationalism of oppressed nations in Ethiopia

14:30-15:00        Liliana Huszthyová: The road to Gambia: An anthropological reading of transnational advocacy (GSC)

15:00-15:30        Zuzana Lhotová: Swahili hip-hop, manipulation or reality? (GSC)

15:30-16:00        Marek Halbich: Transformations of nationalism in Madagascar in postcolonial times


16:00-16:30 Coffee Break


16:30-17:00        Jana Zlámalová: Folklore Ensemble Hradišťan as a Mirror of Changes in Czech Society

17:00-17:30        Kateřina Varhaník Wildová: Tourism, lifestyle migration, and gentrification in Spain: social change and political awareness (GSC)



The struggle between State nationalism and nationalism of oppressed nations in Ethiopia

Alemayehu Kumsa

(Institute of Ethnology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague)

At the end of ninetieth century political map of Africa completely changed by West European strong states, which brought Africa under their colonial yoke. During this scramble for Africa only one African state participated in colonizing Africa’s nations. This African state was old Abyssinia, which created Ethiopian Empire state by the leadership of Emperor Menilek II (1889-1913) of Amhara nation.

Colonialism is a practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another. It is known that colonialism is not a specific character of particular civilization, every major and minor civilization sought to extend its borders and influence. The difference between Abyssinian and European colonialism is that Abyssinian colonialism was over land domination expanding its territory to lands of neighbouring nations, whereas West Europeans colonialism was overseas domination.  Abyssinia, which became known as Ethiopia after expansion, became three times bigger than old Abyssinia. The Abyssinians became only 31% of their new founded Empire. According to Ethiopian Census of 2007, the population of the country: Oromo 34.5 %, Amhara 26.9%, Somali 6.2%, Tigrai 6.1%, Sidama 4.1%.  Abyssinians (Amhara and Tigrai) were imperial makers and holders of all social powers alternatively from the creation of the empire until today. The Amhara power elite ruled the empire under different regimes (1889-1974), which Czech anthropologist E. Gellner  observed as “The Amhara Empire was a prison house of nations …” (1983:85) under the absolute monarchy, (1974-1991) under military dictatorship in the name of Marxism-Leninism, and (1991- today) all social powers were under Tigrean power elite authoritarian dictatorship. The paper elucidates the development of colonial peoples’ struggle for social justices particularly the Oromo, Somali and Sidama nations under these different regimes.



The road to Gambia: An anthropological reading of transnational advocacy

Liliana Huszthyová

(Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague)

Huge resources are being, once again, invested on dams construction along the river Nile.  The dam fever disrupted the still waters of a State-citizen relationship, in which prior to the dams the State was absent and the citizens sovereignty prevailed. This glimpse of State presence initiated fears of disturbance, dislocation, even extinction. In addition the State brought about bolder manifestations of power i.e. drowning of lands, forced disappearances and deaths. The imminent presence of State altered the interplay between the people and the State, prompting bundles of different trajectories – obedience, resistance, passivity, collaboration, or a mixture of all, resulting into fluid ever-changing patterns of exclusion and inclusion, acceptance and denial. These trajectories are enacted in the daily lives of communities, where cousins are not spoken to and chiefs ignored. However, these trajectories are also mirrored in different levels in which actors, related and unrelated to the given communities take up the case and perform their roles. As such, a director of a Bureau in a Ministry gives a fierce speech against enemies of development and a lawyer files communications about violations of human rights in relation to a planned dam construction.

The presentation will follow a particular trajectory – a trajectory of resistance via transnational activism. Bouncing between several countries – Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan and Gambia, the actors represent the case(s) of their peoples in the international arena utilising legal instruments, creating and fostering alliances and preserving their own role in the struggle. The case of legal action aims to uncover the dynamics of current Saviour – Victims paradigm with focus on transnational actors – lawyers, international representatives and NGOs saving the victims of development.



Swahili hip-hop, manipulation or reality?

Zuzana Lhotová

(Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague)

The central theme is Swahili hip-hop which in recent years has become a social phenomenon that which affects public opinion in Tanzania. It is a communication channel for young people to express their opinions about problems of society including the political situation in the country. The influence of this music did not go unnoticed by various interest groups, such as non-governmental organizations, corporations or political parties. There are two ways in which hip-hop is linked to the political scene; first, politicians use the influence of rappers in political campaigns, and second, for some rappers the aim is to become an active member of a political party. Swahili hip-hop is not just a reflection of society, but also of the manipulation in the hands of various organizations.  The song texts prevails several central themes: social problems, family breakdown, poor education system, HIV / AIDS, politics and corruption, and in particular the problems of the younger generation. The lyrics are mostly in Swahili and most frequently in the variant or slang called „Kiswahili Chamitaani“ (Swahili street language). Methodology is the interdisciplinary approach to the topic, which mainly included interviews, participant observation and analysis of selected music texts, both in terms of linguistics, as well as from a semantic point of view.



Transformations of nationalism in Madagascar in postcolonial times

Marek Halbich

(Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague)



Folklore Ensemble Hradišťan as a Mirror of Changes in Czech Society

Jana Zlámalová

(Masaryk University in Brno)

It was the year 1994, when Hana Librová wrote the book Bright and Green: Chapters on Voluntary Modesty. It was a time of economic growth and enthusiasm after the Velvet Revolution. Ecologically minded people, who lived frugal lives, were so unusual that it was interesting to write a book about them. It has been 20 years since the publication of this book and almost every Czech agrees with the ideas introduced in this book. People are returning to the traditions, they admire traditional crafts and they prefer homemade products.

The aim of this contribution is to demonstrate this shift in the society with the help of the analysis of the popularity of folklore ensemble Hradišťan and the <composition of its audience. Most often, the theme of the songs of this ensemble is respect for nature, rural life, traditional values and belief in God. This ensemble has operated in the Czech Republic since 1950 and since 1978 Hradišťan has been managed by its current leader Jiří Pavlica.

We can ask, if changes in the trend of the return to traditions and return to a rural life are reflected in the 60-year long history of this ensemble and in changes in its roll in Czech society. This research works as interviews with members of the ensemble as well as with analysis of reports about Hradišťan in the media and with analysis of other materials.

6. Tourism, lifestyle migration, and gentrification in Spain: social change and political awareness

Kateřina Varhaník Wildová 

(Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague)

Mass tourism started to develop during the totalitarian regime of Generalissimo Franco in the period of 1962-1974, when Spain desperately needed foreign investments, and tourism quickly turned into one of the fastest growing industries (Martínez 2004). The process of urban development started in the 1950s when developers, with the support of local and national governments, began to buy up land from small peasants and turned it into new homes for outsiders, especially from Northern Europe. Especially sea side regions quickly turned into resorts where Spanish is spoken mainly among restaurant staff in kitchens catering for rich Northerners.

On the other hand, foreigners residing in Spain, bring different light to local political issues. The Alicante region is one of the most densely populated by foreigners, namely British. Interestingly, even these people were not saved from “reforms” initiated by developers who, according to the 1994 law, could appropriate private land for further development. Social and cultural capital of foreigners enabled them to defend themselves using international lawyers and EU institutions (Janoschka 2011).  Another disputable construction project Los Merinos near Marbella has also seen a huge involvement of foreign residents (Varhaník Wildová 2012).  Many groups and associations pursuing local inhabitants‘ interests were founded by foreign residents and Spanish quickly followed. Alternative schools projects are given rise on demand of foreign residents.

Lifestyle migrants, people in mobilities, influence the way local Spaniards perceive and engage in political questions which were out of reach of people before the lifestyle migration of Northerners. This paper sees few such cases and observers the dynamics of the change.