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Volume 90, #1
Inhabiting the Margins: Middle Eastern Minorities Revisited
Introduced and Edited by Güldem Baykal Büyüksaraç & Jonathan Glasser
Volume 90, #1 • Winter 2017
Energy Talk, Temporality, and Belonging in Austerity Greece
Daniel M. Knight, University of St. Andrews
ABSTRACT—Dramatic changes in the energy landscape provide a lens through which to understand local perceptions of temporality, modernity, and belonging in austerity Greece. Re-launched in 2011, the European Union-supported solar energy initiative encourages installation of futuristic, high-tech photovoltaic panels on fertile agricultural land. However, winter 2012–2013 and 2013–2014 witnessed a return en-masse to open-fires and wood-burning stoves as a means for people to heat their homes, something locals associate with material poverty, pre-modernity, and pre-Europeanization. Drawing on ethnographic research in the town of Trikala, central Greece, this article demonstrates how “energy talk” provides a prism through which locals discuss the past, the future, and increasing poverty, and reassess their belonging in a modern Europe. [Keywords: Energy, economic crisis, temporality, modernity, belonging, Greece]