Scroll Top

ANAMED Newsletter – How has the global pandemic affected your ANAMED fellowship life and associated research?

by Maria Bianca D’Anna, Post-Doctoral Fellow (2019-2020)

It is not easy to talk about how the global pandemic has affected my fellowship life and research. The pandemic profoundly affected my fellowship, as in mid-March I decided to move back to Europe. And before that, in the last weeks I was in Istanbul, I worked much more at “home.” It changed everything, because I had still some material for my ANAMED project to go through or check again at Istanbul University, because new ideas that grew from that project and through the interactions with other fellows were somehow frozen, and because my research environment and everyday life were completely altered. In addition to all of this, after this forced move, I also understood how important and beautiful it was to be at ANAMED and how great it was to be living together with such a diverse, inspiring, and interesting group of people. In the beginning of my fellowship—I admit—I suffered at times from the forced socialization, such as when I was out for fieldwork or the noisy Istiklal nights; I missed the people I love, my friends, the Berlin library where I worked so long; I missed my mentors and colleagues, and all my families. Now I still don’t miss the noise (!), and I know that in one way or another I will be back in Istanbul to finish the work I left, but I do miss this multifarious community, our Friday Teas, the heritage group meetings, the silent libraries, and the less silent study room. I miss always having someone around with whom I could share a bite or my research struggles. And all this, I am afraid, is simply gone.

But these problems are not easy to talk about, because they are all so little in comparison to what is going on around me…

—Maria Bianca D’Anna, Post-Doctoral Fellow, 17 April 2020