The Uncertainty of Oil
Balancing through the Temporalities and Affects of Depletion in Gabon
This paper argues that uncertainty is intricately entwined with temporalities and a affects. Taking the uncertain future of oil in Gabon as my ethnographic example, I trace ve versions with which people contemplate depletion: a scenario, a vision/plan, a calculation, a dream, and a desire. I show how these versions not only di er in their prognosis, but also conjure up diverse histories, temporalities and a affects that, ultimately, entail fairly distinct forms of uncertainty.
Christine Fricke is a lecturer at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at Mainz University. She is currently completing her doctoral thesis on the temporal, affective and aesthetic entanglements and significations of oil in urban Gabon.
Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz Institut für Ethnologie und Afrikastudien D-55099 Mainz