Energy talk, temporality, and belonging in austerity Greece

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Dramatic changes in the energy landscape provide a lens through which to understand local perceptions of temporality, modernity, and belonging in austerity Greece. Re-launched in 2011, the European Union supported solar energy initiative encourages installation of futuristic, high-tech photovoltaic panels on fertile agricultural land. However, winter 2012-13 and 2013-14 witnessed a return en-masse to open-fires and wood-burning stoves as a means for people to heat their homes, something locals associate with material poverty, pre-modernity, and pre-Europeanization. Drawing on ethnographic research in the town of Trikala, central Greece, this article demonstrates how “energy talk” provides a prism through which locals discuss the past, the future, increasing poverty and reassess their belonging in a modern Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-191
JournalAnthropological Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2017


  • Energy
  • Economic crisis
  • Temporality
  • Modernity
  • Belonging


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