TEAM

Maja Hertoghs

Maja Hertoghs

 

I started studying anthropology, did a masters in gender studies and a research masters in social sciences at the university of Amsterdam. Now I am doing a PhD with the monitoring modernity group at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (NWO funded).

 

My fascination for, and research process of the asylum procedure started during my research masters, years ago. After a typical process of learning that I knew nothing, I managed to get a volunteering job at what I believe to be the heart of the asylum procedure: the application centers, where asylum stories are practiced, recorded, tested and evaluated. This particular application center is also a detention setting. It always struck me how the small hardly noticeable, non-flamboyant building (out of site, near the airport) is such a full and political site, carrying a history of people and the stories they presented, about pasts and places far from the application center; but pasts to be made workable in the here and now of the procedure. Making such stories workable in terms of the asylum process is a heavily political and legal practice carried by its many different experts, persons with all kinds of views, affects and knowledges. A whole new world had opened up to me, and is still opening up, without end. With my research I hope to show exactly that, the unending complexness and multisidedness of the asylum procedure.