Last week one of us was lucky enough to participate in a workshop that looked at the relations between time and community, two often taken-for-granted but rather contentious concepts. The stimulating programme – consisting mainly of very short presentations and innovative discussion formats – featured approaches to time and community from various perspectives and backgrounds, including activism, anthropology, archaeology, biology, fine arts, gender studies, geography, philosophy and sociology.
It became clear that there are various relations between time and community. For instance, time is often constituted through the conceptual frameworks and practical activities associated with a particular community. Also, common memories and narratives of the past (a crucial aspect of ‘time’) can constitute a community, as can shared hopes, fears or projects for the future (another central feature of ‘time’). Furthermore, certain temporal phenomena – such as recurrent floods – may shape communities, community awareness and community action. Finally, a focus on time helps to strengthen an approach to communities as processes that emerge, develop and potentially disappear in time, rather than being fixed entities.
To learn more about the workshop, its context and participants, have a look at the Temporal Belongings website. The workshop was run by the Manchester-based Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) and funded by the AHRC-led Connected Communities programme as one in a series of scoping studies.
Apart from introducing forty-odd researchers and activists interested in time and community to each other, stimulating lively discussions and sowing the seeds of new thoughts, the Temporal Belongings project also started to compile a bibliography on time and community.
Good stuff. Thank you!