Fossilized Futures

Topologies and Topographies of Crisis Experience in Central Greece

in Social Analysis
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  • 1 University of St Andrews dmk3@st-andrews.ac.uk
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Abstract

Drawing on ethnography from western Thessaly, this article reassesses notions of time and temporality in the Greek economic crisis. People experience the past as a folded assemblage of linearly distant and sometimes contradictory moments that help them make sense of a period of social change. Anthropologists should embrace the paradoxes of (poly)temporality and address the topological/topographical experience of time and history. During an era of severe uncertainty, in Greece temporality is discussed through material objects such as photovoltaic panels and fossils as people articulate their situation vis-à-vis the past, present, and future. Multiple moments of the past are woven together to explain the current crisis experience, provoking fear that times of hardship are returning or instilling hope that the turmoil can be overcome.

Contributor Notes

Daniel M. Knight is a Lecturer in Social Anthropology and Leverhulme Fellow at the University of St Andrews and a Visiting Fellow at the Hellenic Observatory, London School of Economics and Political Science. He has published on crisis, time, temporality, historicity, neo-liberalism, neo-colonialism, and renewable energy initiatives. He is the author of History, Time, and Economic Crisis in Central Greece (2015), co-editor (with Charles Stewart) of Ethnographies of Austerity: Temporality, Crisis and Affect in Southern Europe (2017), and associate editor of the journal History and Anthropology.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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