This article explores the changing construction of the future in Swedish forestry since 1850. The framework is based on three concepts: (1) knowability, addressing changing views of knowledge; (2) governability, addressing changing views of the ability to steer the future; and (3) temporality, referring to varying ways of relating to time. The results reveal that until the 1980s, trust in science-based forestry triggered other knowledge-based activities, such as education, surveys, and field trials. The future was seen as predictable and forecasts were expected to support increased forest production. In the 1970s, the environmental debate about the forest incorporated a pluralistic futures agenda. High-production forestry using intensive management methods was questioned. Futures studies shifted focus from predictions to scenarios, highlighting a less predictable future open to human agency. Paradoxically, with increased knowledge of forest ecology and forest markets with improved modeling techniques, the future horizon shifted to one of risks and uncertainties.
Erland Mårald and Erik Westholm
Time-Tricking and the Limits of Temporal Play in Children’s Online Film-Making
Children in Norway increasingly spend time online, where they play games, create and share videos and hang out with friends. Drawing on fieldwork among immigrant families in Norway, this article investigates the use of avatars to facilitate temporal play in children’s online film-making. By creating animated films starring their own and their friends’ avatars, children playfully engage with a wide range of imagined future selves. Avatars constitute on-screen extensions of selves, allowing inhabitants of online environments to explore and experiment with otherwise inaccessible viewpoints and perspectives. Addressing the limits of time-tricking in children’s temporal play, the article shows how offline conventions shape what avatars can do.
Reining in the Future in the Yemeni Youth Revolution
Based on research at the heart of the 2011 revolution in Yemen, this article explores how a capacity to inhabit the future culminated in a collective act of temporal deception on the part of the revolutionaries. Contrary to the prevalent assumption that the future is something that is worked towards, aspired to, emerging or lying in wait at the end of a distant telos, revolutionary life in Yemen asserts that the future can itself be a way of being, but in the present. Upholding the future involved dramatic acts of selflessness whose value lay not just in where they would lead, but in the acts themselves. This fusion of means and ends, presents and futures, ultimately bred a capacity for endurance that defied the temporal expectations of the regime.
Discovering the Future in the Hispanic World
Th is article provides an outline of the crystallization of the concept of future in the Iberian worlds in a period extending from the end of the eighteenth century until the second half of the nineteenth century. By tracking and analyzing the vocabularies referring to the three dimensions of time—past, present, and future—in a broad corpus of documentary sources (books, journals, memoirs, pamphlets, parliamentary minutes, and so on), and particularly in the debates and speculation with regard to el porvenir, the article shows that, not only in Spain and Portugal, but in much of Spanish- and Portuguese- speaking America, the profound impact of progressive philosophies of history on political and social discourse resulted in a clear politicization of time, parallel to the temporalization of political concepts.
Movement, Kinetic Distribution, and Personhood among Siberian Eveny
This article discusses the concept of djuluchen (a spirit that travels ahead) among Siberian Eveny, which can illuminate the human potential to foreshadow one’s own future. Looking closely at case studies of Eveny adolescents reveals that the act of planning, narrating, or envisioning a future event, heavily charged and empowered by djuluchen, moves the event to its fulfillment. Drawing from the Deleuzian notion of ‘becoming’, the article shows the connection between prediction and fulfillment involved in the Eveny conceptualization of personhood and destiny. The discussion of ‘kinetic distribution’ and illocutionary acts uncovers the principle of detachability and the partibility of personhood in nomadic ontology.
Historical Obstacles, Current Situation, Future Challenges
Dan Podjed, Meta Gorup and Alenka Bezjak Mlakar
The article presents the state of applied anthropology in Europe, in particular focusing on the application of anthropological knowledge and skills within the private sector. Firstly, the text depicts the historical context, which has had a strong and often negative impact on the developments in contemporary applied anthropology and specifically on applying anthropology in for-profit endeavours. It then provides an overview of this type of applied anthropology in Europe by identifying its main institutions and individuals. Building on this analysis, the article elaborates on extant challenges for its future development, and outlines the most promising solutions. The authors conclude that it is of crucial importance for European anthropology to make the transition ‘from words to actions’, especially in the areas not traditionally addressed by anthropologists, such as business and design anthropology or consultancy work in the private sector. While the discipline has a longer applied history in areas such as development, human rights and multiculturalism, few anthropologists have played significant roles in the efforts usually associated with the private sector. It is argued that anthropology should – also outside the non-profit and non-governmental sectors – shift from being a descriptive, hermeneutical and interpretative branch of social sciences describing and explaining the past or commenting on the present, to an applied discipline intervening in shaping the future.
In 2006-2007, several Arab nongovernmental organizations in Israel, led by a group of politicians and intellectuals, published future vision documents that summed up the needs, aspirations, hopes, and desires of Arab society in Israel. Despite the fact that the documents did not introduce any new ideas that were not on the Israeli political stage already, this article argues that the fact that the documents were a result of collective effort shows the deep changes that have been taking place among Arab society in general and its leadership in particular. The documents mark the rising tide of frustration and self-confidence, and as a result of oppositional consciousness among leaders and intellectuals of Arab society in Israel. The documents seek to redefine the relationship of Arab society with the Israeli state, demanding the transformation of Israel from an ethnic to a democratic state and calling the Jewish majority for a dialogue. The fact that several documents have emerged is a clear indication that the internal differences within Arab society are still stronger than the uniting forces within it.
As'ad Ghanem and Mohanad Mustafa
In December 2006, a group of politicians and intellectuals published the "Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel," a document that attracted national and international interest and elicited a wide variety of responses across the political spectrum. The document can be defined as a historic event in the history of Palestinians in Israel. This is the first time a representative national body of Palestinians in Israel has prepared and published a document that describes both the existing situation and the changes that are needed across a broad spectrum of their lives. The document was written by activists from all political leanings among the Palestinian community in Israel, and delineates the achievements necessary for defining the future relationship between the majority and the minority in the State of Israel. This article analyzes the background of this document and argues that the notion of a "Future Vision" for Palestinians in Israel functions as a way for the community to cope with the fallout of the Palestinian Nakba in 1948 and their exclusion from the Palestinian National Movement as well as their exclusion from the Peace Talks between the PLO and Israel, following the signing of the Oslo Declaration in 1993.
Local and Global Challenges and Solutions
The rapid political and social changes in Russia in the 1990s contributed to the circulation of many new ideas about what might count as the successful start of adulthood and also about gender norms for young people. My aim in this article is to explore the normativity of girlhood in contemporary Russia by focusing on the Nordic-Russian cooperation project that runs group workshops for girls and by looking, in particular, at a special program that was carried out in the Kaliningrad region. I show that in spite of the special and unique character of the project, the realization of the program in the Russian context partly recalls some other projects in which the general perception of heteronormativity, and the opposition of male/female as natural is left untouched.
Gendered and Racial Dimensions of Future Concept Cars
Julia M. Hildebrand and Mimi Sheller
The imagination of automated automobility puts into question the control of the vehicle by a masculine driver and potentially disturbs feelings of safety, power, security, and freedom. Given that systems of automobility and communication technology are already gendered and racialized in particular ways, this article explores how recent “premediated” depictions of automated car technologies reconfigure and reproduce the historically gendered and raced representations, meanings, and practices of (auto)mobility. This inquiry employs a media ecological approach within the qualitative analysis of two concept car previews by Nissan and Volvo. Rather than a degendering of the driver, we suggest a multiplication of gendered and racialized technologies of mobility via several forms of hypermediation. We also explore how the autonomous car continues to evoke utopian spatial metaphors of the car as sanctuary and communicative environment while allaying fears of dystopian metaphors of the vehicle as traffic trap, virtual glass house, and algorithmic target.