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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Teatime: boredom and the temporalities of young men in Niger
Author:Masquelier, AdelineISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Niger
Subjects:youth unemployment
youth organizations
social life
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_the_journal_of_the_international_african_institute/v083/83.3.masquelier.pdf
Abstract:To fight boredom, un(der)employed young men in Niger have joined 'fadas' (youth clubs) where they listen to music, play card games and strike up new friendships - or nurture old ones. Membership in these organizations cuts across social divides, educational backgrounds and religious affiliations, affirming the spirit of egalitarianism and comradeship that drives these largely urban projects. At the 'fada', conversation routinely takes place around the making and sharing of tea, a ritual idle young men have come to value greatly as they struggle to fill their days with purpose and direction. Whereas elders largely condemn 'fadas' as futile, self-indulgent, and occasionally criminal endeavours, 'samari' [(young men) defend their pastimes, claiming that they engage in meaningful activities. In this essay the author explores the temporalities of teatime at the 'fada'. Rather than focus on what is lost under conditions of crisis and privation, she considers instead what is produced, and in particular how value, exchange, and affect emerge in the context of daily routines at the 'fada'. In the absence of other temporal markers punctuating daily life, the practice of preparing and consuming tea becomes a key happening, enabling 'samari' to carve out meaningful temporalities and reconfigure their relation to the future. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]