As anthropologists, we rely heavily on gatekeepers. They are crucial figures in facilitating our access to the field and they might profoundly influence our ethnographic experience. But what to do when your main gatekeeper behaves like a puzzling broker?
My recent start of new fieldwork in Suriname and French Guiana raises interesting questions about ‘entering the field’. How is it that the process of negotiating access to people and places is in itself a major source of knowledge about power relations?