Maruška Svašek studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Minerva in Groningen, and cultural anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. She is now a Reader in Anthropology at Queen’s University Belfast.

Her main research interests include migration, material culture, and emotions. In her most recent work she seeks to bring these strands together, exploring the mobility and agency of humans, artefacts and images in an era of intensifying globalization and transnational connectivity.

“At the start of lockdown, having to miss out on life drawing sessions and driven by ongoing research into transnational family dynamics, communication technology and emotions (Svašek 2007; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2018), I started using Skype and WhatsApp to paint relatives and friends in their home environments. I am a migrant myself, who moved in 1998 from the Netherlands to Northern Ireland to take up a position as anthropology lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast.

The act of painting across distance does not only offer the opportunity to spend time with distant people, but can also be used as innovative research method, resulting in insightful conversation and visual outcomes that can evoke  further comments and conversation. In addition, the material outcomes can be gifted and recontextualised in all kinds of displays, and create a new visual world that captures the movement between different locations.”

2007    ‘Emotions and Globalisation’, theme issue for Identities. Global Studies in Culture and Power (eds M Svašek and Z. Skrbiš).

2010    Who Cares? Emotional Interaction, Support and Ageing in Transnational Families. Report for Changing Ageing Partnership, Belfast: Queens University.

2011    ‘Who Cares. Families and Feelings in Movement’ In: Robin Cohen and Gunvor Jonsson. (eds) Migration and Culture. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, Pp 89-106.

2012    Emotions and Human Mobility. Ethnographies of Movement. London: Routledge. (ed.M. Svašek).

2018    ‘Ageing Kin, Proximity and Distance. Translocal Relatedness as Affective Practice and Movement’, in: Röttger-Rössler, Birgitt and Jan Slaby (eds) Affect in Relation. Families, Places, Technologies. Essays on Affectivity and Subject Formation in the 21th Century. London. Routledge.