about nightlaboratory

Nightlaboratory is a research and fieldwork blog, created by anthropologist Ger Duijzings and research student Cezar Macarie, both associated with the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London. It reports on people who work, make a living, survive or operate in one way or another in the nocturnal city, because they have no other option or because they want to benefit from the darkness, quiet and lack of control and surveillance which the night offers. Instead of night revellers, who are familiar characters in the public imagination, we will particularly look at those invisible and unseen individuals who spend their nights at work or on the street. In London, many of them are  immigrants  from Asia, Latin America or Africa — we are particularly interested in those coming from eastern Europe, from countries such as Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.

This blog offers brief ethnographic portraits of night workers and people up and on the street at night, as well as vignettes from the interviews we do with them and the situations we encounter during our nocturnal fieldwork. All the entries are anonymized, unless our subjects explicitly want their identity to be revealed. We use pseudonyms and if necessary we  change details about them or  modify aspects of their stories, without changing the bottom line. The main purpose of this blog is to offer experience-near and on-the-ground ethnography.

Everything that is published on this blog is the copyright of the authors. For our most recently published posts please scroll down. We welcome comments, but  reserve the right to edit or shorten comments if they are not absolutely relevant to the blog’s key themes. We encourage night workers, homeless people, and all those who are up and working during the night to contact us if they would like  to talk (or to be interviewed) about their nocturnal work, activities, or experiences.

Our latest posts:

#10 at night the law sleeps

#9 Christmas parties

#8 panic buttons

#7 enemies of the people

 

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.



  1. Can I suggest that you broaden your scope re your research re the night time to homeless people in the street at night who are let down badly by the social services. They are not helped by the services. They make money out of the homeless to pad their own pockets. Police and social services destroy people’s lives on a daily basis. My advice is be impartial and record what you see if given permission.

  2. Thanks very much for your suggestion: We certainly plan to write about homeless people, some of whom we have already had the opportunity to talk to during our night walks (posts will follow). Although we appreciate the many difficulties (and injustices) encountered by homeless people, we do our best not to be judgemental about other people (such as the police or social workers) working at night.

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