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The Transform Project

23 Jul 2021 - 08:00

Annette Hubschle is the African and wildlife trafficking lead on the European Research Council-funded TRANSFORM project, short for Trafficking transformations: objects as agents in transnational criminal networks.

Trafficking represents serious transnational crime which challenges our physical, social, economic security. Existing policy is ineffective at reducing the flow of many illicit commodities.  TRANSFORM is based at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, in collaboration with Victoria University at Wellington (New Zealand) and the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Our ethnographic research is global, with particular focus on Southern Africa, the South Pacific, Latin America, and the American Southwest.

This project focuses on three types of collectable objects: antiquities, collectable wildlife, and fossils. These types of objects inspire passion and profound responses in many people. At times, it seems, this can lead to crimes being committed. By understanding the relationships between people and objects TRANSFORM hopes to better understand crime.

TRANSFORM is a five-year project funded by the European Research Council.

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