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Accepted Paper:

Materializing the future: politics of the future and the construction of Astana  
Mateusz Laszczkowski (University of Warsaw)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines the politics of the future in the construction of new quarters in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana. Astana has been proclaimed a 'city of the future' in official discourse, and a beachhead of a renewed, prosperous future Kazakhstan. However, there is another, broader and subtler politics of the future to Astana, the effects of which extend beyond official rhetoric and agendas. After a crisis of the sense of societal order and direction following the breakup of the USSR, the construction of Astana now allows many Kazakhstanis to imagine exciting personal futures, in connection to a state-framed collective future. These futurities are envisaged as a nexus of material and moral transformations. In a kind of self-directed creative denial of coevalness, Astanaians discard the present as already a passing. Thus current power arrangements can be perpetuated in a temporal limbo while the future takes material shape in the under-construction built environment.

Panel W016
Envisioning the future, and hope
  Session 1