The negativity of times. Collapsed futures in Maputo, Mozambique
Article first published online: 15 MAY 2014
© 2014 European Association of Social Anthropologists.
Volume 22, Issue 2, pages 213–226, May 2014
How to Cite
Nielsen, M. (2014), The negativity of times. Collapsed futures in Maputo, Mozambique. Social Anthropology, 22: 213–226. doi: 10.1111/1469-8676.12071
- Issue published online: 15 MAY 2014
- Article first published online: 15 MAY 2014
- collapsed futures;
- socialist ideology;
- urban time
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 kuzama utomi (‘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.