Understanding Hunger with Ik Elders and Turnbull’s “The Mountain People”

Rane Willerslev, Lotte Meinert

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Drawing upon the method of peer obstruction, this article revolves around understanding experiences of hunger among the Ik of northern Uganda by reflecting upon Colin Turnbull's book The Mountain People together with community elders. The article debates the ethical dilemmas of discussing potentially unpopular ethnographic accounts locally, and the anthropological hesitation of using ethnic categories such as the ‘Ik’. The article contributes to discussions of intervention as a method in anthropology by exploring the uncomfortable yet creative potential of being pushed out of one's comfort zone as anthropologists.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnos. Journal of Anthropology
Pages (from-to)820-845
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Colin Turnbull
  • East Africa
  • Ik
  • Lars von Trier
  • obstruction


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