Nora Wildenauer wins 2015 IIAS National Master's Thesis Prize in Asian Studies

Visual Anthropologis Nora Wildenauer (Leiden University) wins IIAS National Master's Thesis Prize in Asian StudiesOn 16 December 2015, IIAS awarded its annual thesis prize to Visual Anthropologist Nora Wildenauer, for her multi-media thesis: Development brokers in a relocation project in Flores. A multi-media thesis about translations, interpretations and contestation. (Supervisors:  Metje Postma and Steef Meyknecht, Leiden University).

Documentary film
An important component of Nora's thesis is the documentary film 'Fighting for nothing to happen'. It was her first documentary, for which she has also just received, at the American Society for Visual Anthropology Film & Media Festival in Denver, USA, the 'Best Graduate Student Film Award' (November 2015).

Professor Henk Schulte Nordholt (Chairman of the IIAS Board): Nora Wildenauer's 'Development brokers in a relocation project in Flores' stood out for the jury as an excellent example of a multimedia thesis. The focus of the theses is a documentary film, ''Fighting for nothing to happen', which captures the complexities of the tasks of development brokers -especially one catholic Caritas priest- who must negotiate the politics of relocation after a volcanic eruption in Sikka district, eastern Indonesia.

Wildenauers written thesis complements the beautifully shot and edited visual material, using the theme of translation to demonstrate how development discourses are produced, manipulated, and altered via various stakeholders -in this case, missionaries, refugees, and different government representatives - none of whom form homogenous groups. The thesis is a carefully researched, exhaustively analysed, and sensitively filmed and written "narrative of particularity" through the voices of diverse actors.

Read more about Nora Wildenauer's work (personal website)
Nora Wildenauer wins student prize Film Festival Denver.

Other shortlistes theses
The other two shortlisted theses were:

Striking morals, moral strikes: Vigilantism, Islamic activism and dramatic pemuda “fun” in Indonesia’s Front Pembela Islam
By Rutger van Marissing  
Supervisors: Laurens Bakker and Gerben Nooteboom, Universiteit van Amsterdam. 

Construction and reconstruction of authority in Keralolpatti: A re-examination of a contested chronicle from Kerala
By Meera Muralidharan 
Supervisors: Nira Wickramasinghe and Charles Jeurgens, Universiteit Leiden.


About the IIAS National Master's Thesis Prize 

Each year, IIAS awards a prize for the best master’s thesis in the broad field of Asian Studies in the humanities or social sciences, written at a Dutch university. The next deadline for submission is 1 October 2016. Both students and their supervisors can apply.

more information: IIAS National Master's Thesis Prize in Asian Studies