8.02 Katrin Bromber; Julian Tadesse

Taming contingency anticipating progress: Ethiopian youths attempts to carve out a future

The panel starts from the assumption that notions of progress are always inherently ambivalent and multivocal because a number of factors affecting the outcome of such projects may not be amenable to control or may engender unexpected dynamics and events. In other words, progress as an idea and project of social transformation is essentially contingent. Chance, fortuity, unexpectedness, uncertainty, happenstance and incident are some of the related terms which come to mind. In social and historical analysis, contingency refers, broadly speaking, to the open-ended or partially uncontrollable nature of events and human experience. The contingent may appear, on the one hand, as an intractable element of disturbance or insecurity whose elimination is vital for the pursuit of progress. This often leads to concrete anticipations of the future as radical ways of taming chance and reducing uncertainty. On the other hand, contingency may be viewed under a more positive light as a way of brokering unexpected and novel possibilities especially in situations marked by impasse or by positive perceptions of risk and chance. The panel invites contributions which address from an historical as well as from a contemporary perspective questions such as: How does contingency feature not simply in the implementation but also in the formulation of ideas of progress? To what extent does anticipation inform structured contact by young people with the present so that it spirals into self-fulfilling prophecies? In how far does youth, projected as the embodied connection between present and future, become object of an attempted anthropogenesisby actual physical and social practices such as youth movements, educational programs or sports clubs?


Mr COSTANTINI Osvaldo Individual progress and the construction of Pentecostal “self”: the role of Ethiopian Pentecostal churches in Rome (Italy)
Mr EGELAND Erik K. E. Negotiating uncertainty; hopes of the future among Christian youth in the Sidaama 
Dr. MAINS Daniel Youth, infrastructural development, and contingent futures in Ethiopian cities
Dr. NUNZIO Marco di Embracing Uncertainty: Young people on the move in inner city Addis Ababa 
Prof. SCHIRRIPA Pino Pentecostalism and Youthness. Pentecostal pedagogies, neoliberal individual and development in Tigray
Mr TADESSE Julian Turning ‘job-seekers’ into ‘job-creators’ - Entrepreneurship Training in Ethiopia