2018-01-15Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/19108
Landscapes of Hoping
Urban Expansion and Emerging Futures in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Nielsen, Jonas Østergaard
Hope is much discussed as a future-oriented affect emerging from uncertain living conditions. While this conceptualisation illuminates the role that hope plays in shaping life trajectories, hope itself remains largely unaddressed. In this paper, we approach hope ethnographically as practice through the lens of material-semiotics. We draw on fieldwork in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where hoping turns out to be co-constitutive of peri-urban life and landscape. We challenge person-centred understandings of hope in order to bring materiality back in two ways: first, hoping in its various modes and forms is always situated in particular settings, thus, its enactment has to be reflected; and second, hoping “takes place”, co-constitutive of the transformation of urban life. Additionally, we consider the temporality of hoping and highlight how hoping persists through urban space. We conclude that a more profound and thoroughly materialised understanding of hoping’s generative and stabilising potential may strengthen the role of anthropology in current research on socio-ecological transformations.
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published first as (erstmalig folgendermaßen erschienen): Janine Hauer, Jonas Østergaard Nielsen and Jörg Niewöhner: “Landscapes of Hoping. Urban Expansion and Emerging Futures in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso”. In: Anthropological Theory 18.1 (2018), pages 59–80. DOI: 10.1177/1463499617747176.
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