Kylie Moore-Gilbert supports Fariba, Twitter, March 1st 2022
March 1st marked the 1000th day since Dr Fariba Adelkhah, anthropologist of the Ceri Sciences Po, France, was kidnapped by the IRGC. Her groundbreaking fieldwork research into Iran and Afghanistan was twisted into ‘espionage.’ We all know that journalism is not a crime. But less is said about academic research. Fieldwork is necessary to many disciplines, especially Fariba’s specialisation of anthropology. How can we understand foreign cultures if we don’t go there, speak to the people, immerse ourselves? Already today far too many academics who claim expertise in security, International Relations, political science, cultural studies, etc. do not visit the parts of the world they specialise in. In the Anglosphere, far too many do not even learn the language of their region of expertise. Can these people truly claim to be experts? Should we be listening to their advice when a crisis erupts? Academic fieldwork is vital to research in the humanities & social sciences. If, like journalists, academics are prevented from performing this vital function, society suffers.There is no progress without knowledge. Without research-informed expertise, no country can develop a coherent foreign policy. That is why academic freedom is so important. The chilling effect of the arrest of scholars like Fariba spreads far further than the just the academy.https://twitter.com/KMooreGilbert/status/1498785273081397251
Free Fariba. Free Ahmad Reza Djalali. Free Sean Turnell. Free the many thousands of academics jailed by Turkey on spurious politically-motivated charges. Universities must do more. We all must.