Time, Care and Relatedness in Turkey's precarious mining industry
Zeynel Gul (Johns Hopkins University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper examines how precarious everyday within and outside the mines in Turkey is held together through the collective care of the miners, families, friends and others, especially by mundane utterances and practices.
Paper long abstract:
In Turkish we say "Geçmiş olsun" when one is ill, meaning "Get better sooner". The statement is also used as an expression of gladness after one makes through troublesome situations like an accident, a final exam, book project and so on. In 2014, I learned another usage of the term when we visited Soma mining district in western Turkey after the deadly mine accident that claimed 301 lives there. The miners were uttering the phrase to each other, not after an exceptional situation of illness, but after the end of each daily shift meaning "I am glad you are safe." Tracing the working conditions, everyday lives and the artistic productions of a theatre company led by workers in Soma mining district, this paper examines how precarious everyday within and outside the mines is held together through the collective care of the miners, families, friends and others, especially by mundane utterances and practices. Besides acknowledging the multiplicity and singularity of temporalities at the work place (Marx 1976, Munn 1992, Bear 2014), the paper also invites to rethink our anthropological reflections on time and life that are mostly acknowledged as given, coherent and continuous (Pinto 2014; Das 2010; Lambek 2013). In the face of the work-induced threats of injury and death, the mutual imbrication of discontinuous and continuous temporalities not only complicates the assumed boundaries of work and life, but also generates peculiar modalities of care with words and ordinary practices that knit the texture of lives together (Laugier 2016).
Beyond precarity: the politics of hope, care, and solidarity under conditions of unsettling (im)mobility [Anthropology of Labour Network]