Internal Opening Workshop for PORTS

After many months of Covid-related travel disruptions, the core group of researchers of PORTS managed to assemble in one location for the first time. 

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PhD Fellow Giorgos Poulimenakos (middle) presenting his research plans. Elisabeth Schober (PI) to the left, Elizabeth Sibilia and Vinzenz Bäumer Escobar to the right.

The Covid-19-crisis has not only significantly affected the world of ports, maritime trade, and logistics. Not surprisingly, our opportunities to conduct research around on these topics have also been massively impacted by the same phenomenon. The project «Ports», which will explore how global capitalism plays out in four maritime cities (Rotterdam, Piraeus, Singapore, Pusan), has in the meantime recruited a number of researchers: postdoctoral fellows Vinzenz Bäumer Escobar and Elizabeth Sibilia and PhD fellow Giorgos Poulimenakos have joined the project in full-time positions earlier this year, while Hege Høyer Leivestad has been employed on a 20% researcher position. However, meeting up in person, after the recruitment phase was done, at first proved to be very challenging. 

In February of this year, in response to the health crisis at large, Norway closed its international borders down, making all cross-border travel nearly impossible for a while for those who were not residents in the country already. These restrictions, naturally, caused many great disruptions to the academic sector, our project included, with the border-travel regulations around Covid only easing in recent months. As a consequence, for the greater part of 2021 the Ports-team stayed scattered across various locations in the world, with the group trying to jumpstart its collaboration on digital platforms during this first phase (as also documented in this interview). In the end, one team member had to even be brought into the country by seeking for a special permission via the Norwegian Maritime Authority, which was temporarily put in charge of processing international researcher applications.  

On 16 September 2021, after a day and a half of intensive workshopping around research ethics and safety issues in the field, we held a small project launch to celebrate that we finally had the opportunity to meet in person. Presenting their work to  staff members of the Department of Social Anthropology, where the project is housed, Schober, Bäumer Escobar, Sibilia, Poulimenakos and Leivestad all talked about their past and future research, and discussed what the upcoming challenges and opportunities around work on urban ports may be.

We do look forward to holding a larger workshop of the kind previously imagined as a kick-off event at a later point in time.

Elisabeth Schober and Hege Høyer Leivestad

(Elisabeth Schober and Hege Høyer Leivestad during the opening.)


Published Sep. 29, 2021 1:05 PM - Last modified Sep. 29, 2021 1:07 PM