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ASI Seed Money project grows and receives the Veni grant

11 May 2022
Researchers build upon the Seed Money project of 'Gold in Crisis – New environmental threats and global crime in South America' and receive the Veni fund and the Ruigrok prize.

Back in 2020, ASI Seed Money 2020 edition funded a project about Gold in Crisis – New environmental threats and global crime in South America, a transdisciplinary project from VU researchers. After the end of the programme, the researchers build upon it and further grow their work.

This year, anthropologist Eva van Roekel of VU Amsterdam receives a Veni grant of up to 280,000 euros from the Dutch Research Council (NWO). She is awarded this grant for her research: ‘Emergency Ethics: Crisis, Nature, and Wealth in Venezuela’. Due to the prolonged humanitarian crisis, many Venezuelans are currently making a living from resource extraction, smuggling, money transfers and trading in cryptocurrencies. What ethical dilemmas do Venezuelans face and how do they justify their actions? Through ethnographic research in Venezuela, Van Roekel will provide new insights into ethical conduct during crisis and how prolonged crisis affects the moral relationship between social and ecological justice.

Dr. Jesse Jonkman was also part of the Seed Money project. This year, he has also received the prize for his research on gold mining in Chocó, Colombia. Jonkman: "I am very happy with the prize. It is a great recognition of my research into gold mining in Chocó and of all the help I received from research participants in Chocó." The J.C. Ruigrok Prize is a prestigious recognition from the Royal Dutch Society of Sciences and Humanities. The prize is intended for young researchers conducting original scientific research in the social sciences and amounts to EUR 12,500. The prize circulates among four research fields (legal sciences, economic sciences, humanities and social sciences). In 2022, the prize is intended to reward original social science research (by a researcher who obtained their PhD in 2017 or later).

Contact researchers:

  • Dr. Jesse Jonkman, Social & Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Dr. Eva van Roekel, Social & Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences

Throwback to Seed Money 2020 project:
Gold in Crisis – New environmental threats and global crime in South America

South America is a region of prolonged social and ecological crisis. This project takes gold mining as a productive lens to examine these social dynamics for the cases of Colombia and Venezuela. Access to gold-rich territories is highly contested, mining causes pollution and deforestation, and from the moment of extraction, gold is a substance that has direct exchange value in global business networks that operate between formal and informal institutions.

Would you like to know more?

Get in touch with ASI coordinator Neele van den Bongardt

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