anthropologist |  researcher | consultant

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I am an anthropologist of city, media and food transformation, having more than two decades of experience in research, writing, teaching and hands-on experience. Currently, I am working as community coordinator with Ueber den Tellerrand and as researcher and consultant for various companies.

I have a PhD in social anthropology from Leiden University (2012) and taught for several years at Heidelberg University. I curated and participated in exhibitions, have organized international workshops and have various book and journal publications.

My specific foci concern urban sustainable food shifts, media and the digital city. Food practices are a key tool for creating more sustainable and smart cities. But what strategies can be employed to make sure that urban food practices are socially inclusive; and how can these practices be better integrated within local policy and planning to ensure their longevity? Such questions lie at the base of many of my projects. Among others, I am co-editing the book Food, City and the Senses and various book chapters (e.g. for Routledge & Bloomsbury).

My second focus lies in the everyday use of media and democracy. Based on more than two years of fieldwork I have written about the ways in which men in south India connect to the state through media and fan club participation. I have also traced the social life of the popular app 'TikTok' in India. This app opens a space for creativity and makes dreams of fame come true for people who would otherwise not be able to publicly express themselves. The everyday use of the app raises new questions about gender relations, inequalities, public space and the emotions that digital media evoke (see publications).

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Qualitative research

With qualitative methods in UX research and clinical research studies I provide a deeper understanding of user groups, clients, or clinical trial patients.


social innovation

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I am the co-founder of UnFAQ. We are a team of applied anthropologists and social innovators who make academic research methods applicable in daily practice. We combine insights and expertise from ethnographic methods, anthropology of the senses, citizen engagement, user experience design and policy consulting. This enables us to understand real-world issues from the perspectives and in terms of the people to whom these issues matter.

Community work

I bring people together in intercultural environments. I am trained in understanding the life worlds of people in their own terms. This allows me to sensitize and create communities and empower people.


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fandom on display

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a taste for change

kollywood dreams - tiktok

kollywood dreams - tiktok

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Chennai beautiful

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workshop | conference | exhibition

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Chennai street art