Cecil Marie Schou Pallesen
Making Friends and Playing the Game. Tanzanian Indians Negotiating Distance and Belonging through Practices of Bribery
Abstract: Bribery relations are, for people of Indian origin in Tanzania, a way to cope with the uncertainties of everyday life as well as a way to control and claim both distance and belonging to a nation where they never really felt at home. Engaging with the emerging field of literature on uncertainty and the anthropology of corruption, the paper demonstrates how anxiety and potentiality become entangled in the lives of a migrant group shaped by monsoon trade, colonialism, and post-colonial Africanism. It describes how dyads take shape and unfold in their everyday lives and argues that bribery is much more, or perhaps everything other, than illegitimate, informal transactions.
Biography Cecil Marie Schou Pallesen holds a PhD in Anthropology from Aarhus University, Denmark. In her dissertation from 2017 titled Ambiguous Belongings. Anxiety and Potentiality among People of Indian Origin in Tanzania, she explores Tanzanian Indians’ strategies for creating fundamental security as transnationals belonging everywhere and nowhere. She is currently employed as a curator at Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus, where she holds a post.doc. in a project financed by the Velux Foundation’s Museum Program called The Materiality of Homeliness among Mobile Groups.