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Accepted Paper:

Transforming hope: from empty time in Sierra Leone to full time in Iraq  
Maya Mynster Christensen (Royal Danish Defence College)

Paper long abstract:

This paper addresses the question of what happens to the experience of time when future aspirations are broken as a result of crisis.

In Sierra Leone, it is a common saying that 'time and tide wait for no man'. Whereas the powerful 'big man' is in a position to control time, and to adjust his expectations and planning in relation to the forthcoming, youth generally experience to be stuck, or lost, in time. As such, time is experienced as empty; as a temporal void that has to be filled. But as this paper shows, time experienced as suspense does not simply destroy potentialities - it also generates powerful fantasies and dream-like horizons.

With point of departure in the recruitment of ex-combatants from Sierra Leone to secure military-strategic sites in Iraq, the paper analyses how hope - and hopelessness - transforms during the experience of moving from empty time to full time.

Panel W060
Skeletons in the subjunctive: challenges of studying future(s)
  Session 1