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Balancing Acts and Worldviews  
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Indigenous critiques of the West are concurrent with the colonial encounter, and they have always expertly explored how colonialism and environmental deterioration are part and parcel of the same process of territorial disappropriation.

Amazônia—a photographic exhibition by Sebastiâo Salgado, on view in Paris, Rome, London and currently at the Sesc Pompeia in São Paulo—gives visitors an immersive experience of the rainforest due to the framing, lighting, height, and scale of the pictures, along with crisp portraits of the uses of and perspectives on the forest by a number of its Indigenous inhabitants. Salgado chose to display in gigantic black-and-white photographs the forest and the spectacular cloud and vapor patterns that emerge from it to create its own microclimate, while each Amazonian Indigenous group is portrayed in separate pods in the center of the exhibit, in vibrant color. These are accompanied by the words of individuals in the photographs, speaking about their forest livelihoods and the environmental deterioration they have witnessed over time.

Salgado’s collaborative, seven-year project embodies an intersection of art, ethnography, and advocacy that extends the reflections initiated with the “Anthro-artists” special section in our issue 11(3), as well as the environmental focus of the “Witnessing environments” section in the preceding issue.

Many of the articles in this issue develop critical perspectives on the colonial contexts in which new or renewed forms of dispossession are taking place and address directly how Indigenous worldviews can inform and refashion realities that those who inhabit them experienced as thrust upon them, but are now an alternative source for healing, resources, and knowledge.
Read our editorial note
The issue begins with Currents and focuses on the lives of others living precariously in a state of statelessness—the Kurds in Turkey, and in the diaspora. The lengths to which the Turkish state goes to suppress Kurdish language, history, modes of political organization, and expression, and in some cases even their existence seem endless. Latif Tas, organizer of this Currents, opens the collection of papers with an ethnographic description of a day of his fieldwork in the ancient city of Mardin that sits in the region of Turkey where Kurds are a numeric majority, but nevertheless deeply repressed. Rosa Burç explores the evolution of the People’s Democratic Party, the main Kurdish political party in Turkey. Mehmet Kurt examines the relationships, or lack thereof, between diasporic Turks and Kurds in religious institutions in the United States and Europe. Mucahit Bilici continues the focus on Islamic institutions and highlights the assimilationist force of Turkish nationalism. Kurds are not so much othered as they are imagined as having no difference from Turks, and thus no basis for any claim to independence or special rights. Ruken Isik ends the Currents section with a focus on funerals. As the deaths of Kurdish guerilla fighters became unmournable events in the eyes of the Turkish state, Kurdish men could not participate in their funerals, and Kurdish women began taking on the task of carrying their coffins. But these same women also began carrying coffins of Kurdish women killed in “honor crimes.”

Yancey and Raymond Orr provide a comparative study of epistemologies and methods, by exploring the use of deception in Indigenous and scientific knowledge production. The article provides valuable overviews of the scholarship on the trickster figure, and on the uses of deception in social scientific research since the nineteenth century, particularly in experimental social psychology.

Resuming the conversation between anthropology and psychology, David Dupuis turns to the therapeutic effects of so-called “psychedelic substances.” Through an ethnography of a drug addiction treatment clinic in Peruvian Amazonia which uses ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) on patients from all over the world, Dupuis argues that “dissociative states” are motors of the therapeutic effects of psychedelic treatments.
The fate of the souls of the dead is the site of an entrenched cleavage in the anthropology of Indigenous South America, typically distinguishing the lowland view of the dead as dangerous others who must be forgotten, from the highland view of the dead as life-giving ancestors who must be remembered. Like most gateway tropes in anthropology, this one too has been revealed to be far too simplistic. Through a rich ethnography of members of the Coipasi ayllu in the Potosí region of Bolivia, Oscar Muñoz Morán shows that the recent dead, whether deemed to be good or evil spirits, are defined by their emotions.
While the good spirits may manifest as positive emotions, evil spirits manifest through excessive anger and must be countered by ritual action. Good spirits peacefully drift away from memory. The excess of evil spirits, however, is spurred by their grief and pain at being removed from daily life, and Coipasian ritual excess is meant to distance them from community life.
Staying in the Indigenous Andes, Koen de Munter focuses on the practice of uywasiña among the Bolivian Aymara. Uywasiña means “to raise with care and affection,” and refers to the process of making others into kinspeople through attuning their attention to local relational dynamics. De Munter proposes that uywasiña be interpreted in dialogue with Tim Ingold’s praxeological approach to the anthropology of life, hence resuming a theme Hau has featured in a two-part special section on “The turn to life” (Hau 8[3] and 9[2]).

Christian Tym brings us down the Andean Cordillera and into the Amazonian lowlands, more specifically to the Chicham-speaking Shuar of Ecuador, where he takes us on an ethnographic investigation of the classic anthropological theme of “belief.” There is no Shuar word for belief, although they have adopted the Spanish words creer (to believe) and creencia (belief) through contact with Protestant and Catholic missionaries. Tym nonetheless shows how Christian “belief” articulates with an ancestral mode of relating to what he calls “ontological content,” particularly in what concerns hallucinogenic visions.

Bo Chen explores the complex kinship practice of Vdra-ba people, who live in Western Sichuan province in China. In the past, some scholars characterized them as matrilineal and compared them with other Himalayan societies where men play their primary child-rearing roles in relation to their sisters’ children rather than those of their wives or lovers.

Chen argues that Claude Lévi-Strauss’s writings about “house societies” provide a much more compelling model.

Read "The pedigree of the house" by Bo Chen
In a novel analysis of the Chinese university entrance exam, Zachary Howlett examines the sources of the charisma granted to successful candidates. These “examination warriors” or “scholarly overlords” are imagined as embodying all manner of cultural virtue, from perseverance, composure, moral incorruptibility, and endurance, to health, intelligence, and even quasi-religious forms of blessing.

In the article "Insecurities of nativism: A woman ethnographer studying her own community", Malvika Sharma speaks from multilayered and shifting positions as she conducted research in her place of birth in a South Asian borderland between Jammu and Kashmir.

Muhammad Ali Nasir and Muhammad Ahmed bin Tariq take us to the company of Muslim youth in the Pakistani city of Karachi. They participate in reading groups to discuss the end of time with reflections on eschatological prophecies in Islamic religious sources.

Continuing the religious focus, but shifting the theoretical debate from Max Weber to Bruno Latour, Zdeněk Konopásek takes us to a case study of apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Slovenia.

Lars Rodseth examines the general anthropological aversion to heuristic models especially since the 1970s. He maintains that this has led to an “ethnographic involution” where ethnographies have become more and more particularistic in their complex intricacies. Instead, the author introduces the neo-Kantian philosopher Hans Vaihinger’s notion of “fictionalism” that does not so much renounce abstractions as shape them into “useful fictions”.

John Hutnyk asks, “Who is it that gets to do the work of comparison in ethnographic analysis?” While some anthropologists have proposed models of para-ethnography or collaborating (coauthoring) with their interlocutors, few have attempted to enable those who participate in research projects to become comparative analysts themselves. Hutnyk attempts such a process by employing people who were displaced by restoration projects in West Bengal and Southeast London as researchers. He holds seminars with them on books written about the histories of the two places and asks them to comment on their own experiences in light of those histories
Read "Comparative urbanism and collective methodologies" by John Hutnyk
This issue’s Colloquium is about the perennial and ineluctable issue of translation in anthropology. It is centered on Philip Swift’s call for a “heathen hermeneutics,” a staunch defense of a radical form of “foreignizing translation,” in which the translator’s own language is transformed by the language being translated, in opposition to a “domesticating translation” in which the source language is made to conform to the terms of the target language.

With responses by João Pina-CabralFatima MojaddediMilad Odabaei, and a reply by Swift.
Harriet Evans’s lyrical Beijing from below is the focus of this issue’s Book Symposium. Evans examines the lives of the residents of perhaps the last, recently demolished, inner-city slum of Beijing: Dashalar. Combining oral history, archival work, and ethnography, Evans artfully wrestles with the most basic problem of sociocultural anthropology: how to use stories, descriptions of objects, and photographs of streets, homes, and people to render truthfully a place, a life, or a period of time. Where does the truth lie and which loving techniques can convey it?
Contributions by Ian JohnsonErik MuegglerRuth E. ToulsonBiao Xiang, and a reply by the author.
This issue’s Translation is a paper by Richard Shweder, delivered in French at a conference in 1994. In this article, Shweder argues that the notion of magical thinking—that is, “the attribution of a confusion of subjectivity with objectivity”—is a modern invention, an illusion mistakenly attributed to other ways of thinking that are based on broader views of reality.
The illusions of “magical thinking”: Whose chimera, ours or theirs? by Richard A. Shweder
Welcome to Louisa Lombard, a new member of the Editorial Collective

As of the next issue, we are delighted to welcome Louisa Lombard of the Department of Anthropology at Yale University. Louisa is an Africanist, and works in the Central African Republic, Rwanda, and South Sudan on themes such as political authority, ethics, and violence. Louisa’s addition to the collective is consistent with our goal of having an editorial team that is diverse—in terms of the countries where we live and the institutions in which we are employed, the places we study and the people with whom we carry out research, as well as in our ideas of what anthropology is, should or can be. Hau provides us with the kind of freedom in which this plurality and diversity, far from leading, as it sometimes can, to paralysis or impasse, lays the groundwork for what we hope is a creative and open journal.

This year over at HAU Books we have published Nullius by Kriti Kapila, Ethics or the Right Thing? by Sylvia Tidey, Mafiacraft by Deborah Puccio-Den, and the collection Pandemic Exposures edited by Didier Fassin and Marion Fourcade.

All of them are available as open-access PDFs. Our print editions are produced by and can be purchased from the University of Chicago Press.

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