Dear fellow Anthropologists, friends and colleagues,
It is hard to find words that express my, and hopefully, our, feelings about the terrorist attack in Christchurch. It is an attack on humanity, against all what we believe in, what we teach and research.
I would like you to reach out to your colleagues, your students, your tutors and your research participants and make sure that you all consider how to cope today and in the following weeks. We are grieving deeply and try to come to terms with an assault that is racist, white supremacist, neo-colonial and steeped in hatred. But we are also constantly analysing the relentless media coverage, the development of a new narrative about this country, and the evolving moral tales.
My sympathy is also with our colleagues and students in Christchurch who are facing this tragedy even more directly than any of us.
At moments like this it does help to be an Anthropologist, but we should also reach out and help others with our knowledge and our ability to offer a different, critical perspective and even radical solidarity.
We practice our discipline in this country, we belong here as educators, researchers and citizens. Please honour our positionality, but also your personal feelings of belonging.
Kindest regards and sympathy,
Prof Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich, ASAA/NZ Chairperson