Iepke Rijcken received her education at Utrecht University with both her Bachelor and Masters. In 2019, she finished a Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. During a research internship in Ethiopia, the impact of power relations, colonial heritage, and inequality became evident to her. Afterwards, she pursued her academic ambitions and interest in power relations with the Master’s programme Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation.

Coming from an artistic family, creative expressions have always been part and parcel of her life. With her father as a professional illustrator, her interest in illustrating and visual representations followed naturally. Her interest in music, sounds and movement she learned from her mother, who is a professional musician. Iepke understands words are not all-encompassing, and her in academic work she tries to seek different ways to transfer insights, experiences, and encounters.

Project "Friendly Stalking"

The Department of Search offered artists and scientists the opportunity to meet and collaborate in non-conventional and creative forms. The Department’s project “Friendly Stalking” aimed to explore artistic ways to enrich scientific work. I ethnographically researched the artist Laurent Tixador and investigated his artistic method and process. I met him in one-on-one situations, followed his daily routine, and learned about his perception. I used photography to visually document the process. In line with Tixador’s art, I clayed several important encounters which were significant in my understanding of the artists’ method.

Video Projects

Lalish Theaterlabor

Together with Magdalena, Nelly, and Alexandra, I conducted qualitative research on Lalish Theaterlabor in Vienna. We analysed the theatre as a space for intercultural exchange. I mainly focused on the ritualization of the performances and used visual ethnographic methods to document the performance Gilgamesh (May 12, 2018). The video functioned as an example to show ritualized elements, such as centralisation of experience, music, and movement; specific clothes; usage of the room; and repetitive elements. Besides, every performance had a fixed structure (preparatory phase, implementation phase, and post-processing phase), which is also portrayed in the short video.

Life on a boat

The short film “My sister lives on a boat” was part of an assignment for the Master's course “Ethnographic Methods and Research Design”. The assignment aimed to explore what it is that makes an activity, image, text, film, or piece of knowledge ethnographic. I learned it is about how something is situated and interpreted that can make every mundane or familiar process, activity or experience ethnographic. I approached my sister ethnographically, and thereby, made the familiar strange. The short film sheds light on a different way of living: living on a boat. We are used to living in houses, apartments, or in “squared spaces” as my sister calls it. The film evokes to imagine different ways of living and simultaneously invites the viewer to reflect on their assumptions, expectations, and perceptions.


Stopped Joining Strikes

Conversations about the Women’s Strikes

Illustration of a conversation about the Women’s Strikes. The eight stars (**** ***) stand for “Jebać PiS”, which means “Fuck PiS”. The phrase is used to show disagreement with the ruling party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice).

Abortion Law

Abortion signatures

Illustration of an encounter with someone who is collecting signatures. Weekly, activists have been collecting signatures for the abortion draft law as citizen’s initiative to demand the liberalisation of reproductive rights in Poland.

Come Back

Waking up in Poland

Illustration of waking up in Poland and human rights have been taken away. The illustration is based on the feeling expressed by one of my interviewees.

“It is hard to say, but suddenly you wake up in a country and someone took human rights away from you. You have no access to control your health, your decisions, and you can go to jail because you do something that is considered normal anywhere else. Of course, we went for Strikes, that was the very first thought that came to my mind and my friends’ minds. There was no doubt that we had to do something.”
(Weronika, activist, 2021)