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The negativity of times. Collapsed futures in Maputo, Mozambique

Morten Nielsen

This article explores how urban temporalities in Maputo, Mozambique's capital, erupt from collapsed futures, which endure within the present as traces of that which will no longer be. The argument is built on an ethnographic analysis of (‘trying to make a life’), a temporal trope, which pre‐figures the future as a failure on a linear scale. Still, although it is identified by its collapse, the future wedges itself within the present as a trace of that which will never be. While manifesting the efforts needed in order to reach a desired objective, it also exposes the powers at work that inhibit its eventual realisation.

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Multiple Sovereignties and Summary Justice in Mozambique

A Critique of Some Legal Anthropological Terms

Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

Mozambique has echoed developments in other sub-Saharan countries by recently 'recognizing' its traditional authorities and extending their powers. Some celebrate this as 'legal pluralism' and what Boaventura de Sousa Santos calls a 'heterogeneous state'. I question such assessments on the basis of case material collected in Chimoio, Mozambique, from 2007 to 2008. The two cases presented here explore the 2008 spate of the burning of alleged thieves and an individual's search for protection in a poor neighborhood. Overall, the article aims to suggest a reformulation of some political and legal anthropology developed in the context of Africa and, especially, to avoid some of the universalizing typologies and individuating features of such anthropology.

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A lesser human? Utopian registers of urban reconfiguration in Maputo, Mozambique

Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

In the age of climate change, human life’s pliability is also re‐shaping anthropological debates. For debates centring on the urban domain, questions revolve around flexibility, adaptability and resilience, while in work drawing on the Anthropocene similar ideas of human beings as subsumable to Gaia are emerging. This article reflects on how these perspectives interweave and imply a paradoxical human figure. On the one hand, they convey a being that simultaneously infuses, consumes and transmogrifies the world. Conversely, the human figure is forged by theoretical and analytical orientations that prescribe that one should abandon such a human‐centric reading of the world. The latter aspect is particularly evident in so‐called ‘resilience governance’ discourses. These discourses presuppose a form of becoming less through reinventing humanity and human life as more adaptable to post‐future horizons of always already collapsed ecologies. Critically tracing this paradox, this article probes the urban Anthropocene and its lesser humans as desirable under the aegis of ‘resilience governance’ in Mozambique, crucially also mapping and analysing the involvement of utopic registers in defiance of such developments.

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Violence, Rumor, and Elusive Trust in Mocímboa da Praia, Mozambique

Ana Margarida Sousa Santos

local politics and help anticipate potential violence. This article explores the aftermath of violent riots that took place in 2005 in Mocímboa da Praia, in northern Mozambique. Delving into the rumors that spread in the days and months that followed

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Outlining a ‘Semantic Anthropology of Data Science’

The Humanitarian Response to the Cholera Epidemic of Doctors with Africa CUAMM in Mozambique

Edoardo Occa

Mozambique is suffering from the deadliest cholera outbreak in 25 years. The outbreak started in September 2022. Based on updated data from Ministry of Health, which redrew a new epidemiological landscape, from October 1, 2023 until December 11

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Egalitarian Lives and Violence

Community Policing in Mozambique

Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

community policing in the post-colonial context of Mozambique must also be analyzed in relation to localized violent practices, such as instances of summary justice, the nebulous presence of police death squads, and the legacy of violent post

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The Good, the Bad, and the Awkward

The Making of War Veterans in Postindependence Mozambique

Nikkie Wiegink

Over a decade ago, Chris Alden (2002: 353) summarized the reintegration process of war veterans in Mozambique after the civil war by referring to a comment made by the famous American general Douglas MacArthur: “Old soldiers never die, they just

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Austerity in Africa

Audit cultures and the weakening of public sector health systems

James Pfeiffer

local sovereignty, retaining Western hegemony in southern Africa, and privatizing local resources. Mozambique provides an illustrative case study of austerity in Africa to underscore the key function of audit culture in the effort to enable and enforce

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The Meanings of the Move?

From “Predicaments of Mobility” to “Potentialities in Displacement”

Stephen C. Lubkemann

primarily on ethnographic material from my two longest and most multifaceted research engagements with war-affected populations from (and in) Mozambique and Liberia. From Inventorying Loss to Documenting the Complex Transformations of Social Opportunity

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The Hut-Hospital as Project and as Practice

Mimeses, Alterities, and Colonial Hierarchies

Cristiana Bastos

‘imitation from above’, as epitomized by the hut-hospital. Created between the 1920s and the 1950s for the purpose of providing medical assistance to the indigenous populations of Angola, Mozambique, and other Portuguese-administered African regions, hut