Becoming Digitally Resilient: Understanding the Gap between Online Government Services and Low Ability Users

Presentation slide: Photograph of a person at a desk with a lap top and computer mouse and a smartphone. They are writing in a small spiralbound notebook.
YONI LEFEVRE STBY bv DOROTA GAZY STBY bv In the Netherlands, approximately 2.5M people struggle to use technology in their daily life and are unable to use online governmental services independently. People with low digital literacy are increasingly feeling left behind by the digitalisation of society. Even though this group is very diverse, what they have in common is getting stuck at some point when they are in a digital environment, e.g. when filling in digital forms. The Dutch government wants to provide more effective and appropriate help by designing more accessible online services and offering different types of support. To support this, STBY was commissioned to do qualitative research to better understand the experiences of people with limited digital skills. The ethnographic methods used in the project enabled the researchers to get a holistic understanding of participants’ experiences of going through this emotional and difficult journey. This personal approach enabled participants to share the ‘obstacles’...

Rehearsing Imagined Futures: Creative Performance as a Resilient Process among Refugees

Presentation slide: Photo of people dancing on stange.
NICOLE ALEONG University of Amsterdam Cultivating resilience while navigating uncertainty is crucial for refugees. In the Netherlands, after receiving asylum and the right to work, refugees are often urged to adapt or evolve in hopes of successfully integrating into the Dutch economy. How do forced migrants who pursue work in creative enterprises help us rethink the relationship between forging new lives and uncertain futures? In this paper, resiliency of refugees is presented as a process of creative performance and experimentation. Efforts taken by refugees to explore, or ‘self-potentialize’, new future creative pathways suggest that resilience is overly simplified when defined as a pursuit of resistance to integrate and conform into established creative industries. The stories of two refugees living in Amsterdam showcase how resiliency is future-oriented, processual (Pink & Seale 2017), and connected to the preservation of one’s ‘capacity to aspire’ (Appadurai 2013). ‘Future-making’ is embedded into their...

Show Must Go On: How Can Ballet Help Us Strengthen Ethnographic Practice?

Photograph of a ballet dancer at the apex of a jump in a full split, with translucent white skirt and sleeves illuminated against the dark background of an empty theater.
ALMINA KARYA ODABASI Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam This PechaKucha is drawn from research conducted as an organizational ethnography at The Dutch National Ballet (DNB), a renowned professional organization in the culture and arts sector in the Netherlands. However, just like most research trajectories, mine was also full of hurdles that I needed to overcome, the biggest being Coronavirus and the disruptions it created. While constantly adapting myself and my research to the circumstances of the day, I agree with Marcus and Fischer’s description of ethnography being a “messy, qualitative experience” (1986, p.22). I have come to recognize how resilience is very much engraved in the ballet as a profession with opportunities to observe its manifestation even before (or during) adversities; and its learnings can be useful for other (cultural) settings and/or disciplines. In this PechaKucha, by proposing a new perspective to understand ethnographic practice, I suggest that what we learn from ballet can impact the resilience...