Fossilized futures: topologies and topographies of crisis experience in Central Greece

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Drawing on ethnography from western Thessaly, this paper reassesses notions of time and temporality in light of the Greek economic crisis. People experience the past as a folded assemblage of often linearly distant and sometimes contradictory moments that currently help them make sense of a period of extensive social change. It is the responsibility of anthropologists to embrace the paradoxes of (poly)temporality and address the topological (and topographical) experience of time and history. In an era of severe uncertainty, in central Greece temporality is often discussed through material objects such as photovoltaic panels and fossils as people articulate their situation vis-à-vis the past, present, and future. Multiple moments of the past are weaved together to explain contemporary crisis experience, provoking fear of returning to times of hardship or hope that the turmoil can be overcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-40
JournalSocial Analysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Temporality
  • Historical consciousness
  • Economic crisis
  • Assemblage
  • Topology
  • Topography
  • Affect
  • Affective objects
  • Energy practice


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