Accepted Paper:

'Town is for the young': (im)mobility, agency and interdependency amongst older people in urban Uganda  
Katie McQuaid (University of Leeds)

Paper short abstract:

This ethnographic paper explores lived experiences of becoming and being old to capture the agency, social navigation and interdependencies embedded in older people's experiences of being 'stuck' in a sub-Saharan African city.

Paper long abstract:

This paper sets out new directions for understanding ageing, (im)mobility and agency in urban sub-Saharan Africa. Building on the new mobilities paradigm which links individual experiences of mobility and urban space, and drawing on ethnographic and creative participatory research with older men and women in the Ugandan city of Jinja, this paper explores what it is to become and be old. I explore 'becoming old' to capture the diversity of trajectories and social navigation embedded in older people's experiences of being 'stuck' in the city, and 'being old' to foreground the contingent and relational spatialities, temporalities and agency of their lived experiences of immobility. Firstly, I set out a renewed understanding of how older people engage with 'stuckness' in the socio-economic and physical infrastructures and horizons of rapidly changing African cities. Secondly, I propose a new conceptual approach, 'dependent navigation', to explore how older people engage with and navigate ambivalent dependencies in urban contexts.

Panel Time01
Imagination, migration & (im)mobility