The manipulations of time

14th Dec 2017

The manipulations of time: On the temporal embeddedness of urban insecurity

A new paper by Daniel E Agbiboa is now available online



Turning the table on Henri Lefebvre’s argument that the structure of everyday life is closely associated with the non-accumulative routing of cyclical or immanent time whereas it lags behind the forward-moving linear or transcendent time, I argue that cyclical and linear time are in fact intertwined in lived reality and popular imagination. This suggests that the ebb and flow of time cannot be grasped in rigidly binary terms such as the opposition of cyclical and linear time. Interrogating popular arts like the entextualised slogans painted on the mobile bodies of commercial minibus-taxis (danfos) and tricycles (keke napeps) in Nigeria’s – and in fact, sub-Saharan Africa’s – most populous city, I argue that the interaction of these seemingly conflicting representations of time affects and ultimately shapes the grounds of our meaning(lessness), (in)security and being-in-the-city. At these interfaces and interstices of conflicting notions of time, and in the interchange between familiar and unfamiliar termini, a powerful sense of unknown (or future) time can emerge, which in turn reinforces the need for a more experimental re-positioning and re-orientation in everyday urban life.


You can access and read the full paper here


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