Accepted paper:

Undercover ethnography: studying refugees and returnees in the Angola and Zambia borderlands

Authors:

Pedro Neto (ICS-ULisboa)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will address the methodological, ethical and political challenges found during fieldwork research on Angolan refugees and returnees along both sides of the shared border of Zambia and Angola.

Paper long abstract:

The research on Angolan refugees and returnees led me to fieldwork at the Meheba Refugee Settlement, Zambia, and along both sides of the shared border of Zambia and Angola. Getting an entry permit to Meheba as an Angolan research visa proved to be impossible. Without any local official support or authorizations, negotiating access to such fieldwork settings turned out to be a complex and often dangerous task. As such, in order to pursue my research, carrying out an undercover ethnography proved to be the only viable solution. This paper will discuss the ethical, political and methodological implications of an undercover ethnography in a post-conflict region.

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Under suspicious eyes: surveillance states, security zones and ethnographic fieldwork