Metje Postma’s is lecturer at CA-OS Leiden. Her current research examines how a group of refugees from the Arab Rashaayda Bedouin community of Sudan, staying in Eritrea, is represented to and by aid organizations and how it presents itself in different ways, arenas and for different audiences.
Her theoretical interest is in how forms and modes of communication engage an audience differently. For their Arab brothers the Rashaayda emphasize their courage and their high descent through lengthy poems and songs and rhetorical speech, mobilizing their cultural heritage and history; to Western aid organizations they stress their neediness and their victimization by the Sudanese government and how they suffered from human rights abuses. Metje Postma explores how the discourse on representational processes in ethnography can be applied in the field of development. She is also interested in how people embody knowledge and skills, and how body-techniques are traditionally used to reach certain states of consciousness.
Metje teaches the BA course Visual Methods in which she guides students in doing visual ethnographic research.