Marius Christoph Palz
I am currently a member of the project "Whales of Power: Aquatic Mammals, Devotional Practices, and Environmental Change in Maritime East Asia", where I concentrate on the transformation of the dugong from an animal attributed with cultural/ritual value to a symbol of protest against the construction of a military base in the vulnerable ecosystem of Henoko Bay, Okinawa (Japan). Beside human-nature relations and the question of nature's agency, I am interested in the power struggle of small groups/minorities and the nation state of Japan.
I received my M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in 2016, for which I conducted fieldwork among the Ainu community of Tokyo on the theme of indigenous performance and ritual. These aspects of modern indigenous life play an important role to make the minority visible, especially in an urban setting, and by that question nationalistic narratives of a homogeneous state.