My name is Àngels Trias i Valls and I am a social anthropologist living and working in London. I have spent half my life in Catalonia and the other half abroad, with the last 25 years living in the UK and Japan, always feeling slightly un-rooted. I am very proud to be the curator for @Catalan Voices and participating in this project.
I am 46 years old and I teach and research in the field of social and cultural anthropology -the comparative study of human conduct and thought in their social context (in present day). I have a keen interest on issues of exchange, cosmopolitanism, mobility, visual and sensorial practices, and new communication technologies.
I work as a senior lecturer in anthropology and research at Regent’s University London, at the heart of the city in Regent’s Park. At Regent’s, I am also the deputy programme director for the MA in Global Management and teach on globalisation. I publish as an editor of the Open Access Anthropology Journal ‘Dissent and Cultural Politics’; I am engaged in several online and visual projects. My latest academic article is on the topic of the ethnographic interview, on temporality and interviews to children. This is based on research I carried out on ‘Els Tres Reis’ (Three Wise Men) practice of gift and commodity exchange in Catalonia. My current research is in London where I study the morality of ‘debt’ and ‘high street commodity shopping’, looking at the role of one-pound, discount sales shops.
I was born in Igualada (Anoia), later moved to Barcelona to study a degree in Cultural Anthropology and an independent Film Studies degree. After this, all I wanted to do was to be an anthropologist, to travel and to live in different cultures, learning from within. So, in 1993 I landed in Belfast, just at the end of the ‘Troubles’, to continue my studies at the Queen’s University Belfast. As part of my doctorate I did two years of field research in Japan looking at Japanese gift exchange. I have been in and out of Japan since then. I share my passion for things Japanese with my sister Núria (an early curator of Catalan Voices). Soon after my degree, I was fortunate enough that I got a lectureship in social anthropology in West Wales, there I lived and taught for eight years. I have a long standing relationship with Northern Ireland and Wales and I follow their processes of nationalism closely, as closely as I follow those in Catalonia.
In my spare time I enjoy doing Geocaching, filming, urbex (urban exploration) and I am a keen scuba diver. For diving, I love the natural maritime conservation park of ‘Les Illes Medes’ and I can’t wait to take my three year old daughter to swim and dive there. My virtual meanderings can be followed @anthropologies . Great meeting you!