Publication: "Waiting Out the Rush: On the Durability of Wealth in Kenya’s Coastal Sex Economies"
In this book chapter, George Paul Meiu examines what waiting practices reveal about the production of value in Mtwapa, a coastal town known as Kenya’s “Sin City”, that has witnessed a rush of investments, commodification, and people. He argues that one cannot grasp the rush without examining how people inhabit ‘slow time’.
The “meantime” represents the gap between what is past and the unknown future. When considered as waiting, the meantime is defined as a period of suspension to be endured. By contrast, the contributors of this volume understand it as a space of “the possible” where calculation coexists with uncertainty, promises with disappointment, and imminence with deferral. Attending to the temporalities of emerging rather than settled facts, they put the stress on the temporal tactics, social commitments, material connections, dispositional orientations, and affective circuits that emerge in the meantime even in the most desperate times.
George Paul Meiu. “Waiting Out the Rush: On the Durability of Wealth in Kenya’s Coastal Sex Economies.” In In the Meantime: Toward an Anthropology of the Possible, edited by Adeline Masquelier and Deborah Durham, 1st ed., 194–218. Berghahn Books, 2023.