Interdisciplinary by training, I call myself a migration-and-change-anthropologist. I look at what drives peoples’ movement in the context of global change, and how peoples’ movements change societies.
Next to my job as a researcher, I am exploring ways to communicate about migration with wider audiences as an applied theatre maker and a writer.
See my LinkedIn page for my full CV.
See my portfolio for an overview of my work.
I am an academic researcher at the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and an associate researcher at the International Migration Institute Network (IMI-n).
My research focuses on the relationship between migration, development, conflict, and change, from the perspective of migrants, policy and public perceptions. I specialize in migration from (post-) conflict countries, return migration, transnational engagement of migrants, and processes of structure and agency in mobility.
Methodologically, I want to contribute to improved and innovative qualitative and mixed research methodologies in migration studies.
I defended my PhD thesis on return migration after conflict in November 2014 at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance in the Netherlands. I obtained my Bachelor (2005) and Master (2006) degree in Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies at the Radboud University Nijmegen.
Between 2015 and 2016, I worked as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at IMI at the University of Oxford. In 2017, I was connected to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Before that, I worked for academic, non-governmental and international organizations, always in the field of migration and development. My research has taken me to a diversity of research settings around the world, including Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, DR Congo, Iraq, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Vietnam and the Netherlands.
Applied theatre maker
In CONTAINED Project, I use participatory theatre and narrative tools as a way to provoke thoughts, start dialogues and enhance understanding about migration in receiving communities. The project began in 2016 as a collaboration with physical theatre company Justice in Motion, together with storyteller and teacher Remco Heijmans. We developed a trilogy of immersive, physical and participatory performances and creative learning tools.
Since 2017, I have been developing this initiative further, focusing on immersive performances and participatory theatre as an experimental research method. I am also continuously looking to develop new creative connections that trigger dialogues on migration.
In this work I benefit from my background as a practitioner of participatory theatre, combined with insights from academic research. Also, I build on my background in improvised theatre with everything I do.
In addition to academic work, I write more accessible publications, such as blogs, columns and popular articles. Writing to me is a way to make sense of what I see and do. During my brief career as a communications officer I learned to write for a wider audience.
In addition to non-fiction, a dream is to put academic insights into fictional stories. Me and my partner Remco created three children’s books for our dear nephews and children of friends: One about leaving and saying goodbye to loved ones, one about staying in touch from a distance and the desire to move, and one about the adventures and risks of a journey. These animal stories about Mouse and Hare are full of references to migration patterns. My secret dream is to get these books published!