Reviewer giuliagonzales | Review

#335 The alter-temporalities of pastoral mobility: The case of the Rabari pastoralists of western India

Coresponding author's contact details

First name Natasha Middle name Last name Maru
Title PhD researcher Organization / Institution Institute of Development Studies Department n/a
Address Library Road Postal / Zip code BN1 9RE Country GB
E-Mail Hidden Phone number Hidden Presenting author Yes

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Abstract title

The alter-temporalities of pastoral mobility: The case of the Rabari pastoralists of western India

Abstract text

Mobility is widely debated to be the key strategy that allows pastoralists to flexibly make use of variable resources. But while mobility is a function of both time and space, discussions have tended to favour spatial trajectories revealing a sedentary bias. Based on ethnographic research with the Rabari pastoralists of western India, this paper highlights the salience of timing and temporality and provides new insights into the experiences of pastoral mobility. Observing the Rabari reveals various circuits of mobility, involving not just tasks associated with livestock keeping, but also social, political and religious obligations and desires, aspirations, and imaginations. These (im)mobilities lie at the intersection of temporal phenomena such as shifting weather patterns, increasingly short and intensive agrarian cycles, and uncertain market dynamics in a developmentalist political economy that is transforming not only the physical but also the social landscape within which the Rabari are located. But by relying on embedded, localized and alternative understandings of timing and temporality the pastoralists rupture the linear, scientific, and fast-paced chronology that underpins the ideas of improved productivity, progress and modernity symbolized by such transformations. The pastoralists manoeuvre between the various circuits of (im)mobilities tangibly, in imagination or representation to generate ‘alter-temporalities’ (Kolinjivadi, 2020) or ‘alter-politics’ (Ciavolella, 2019) that do not simply oppose or conform to their changing context but dialectically engage with it. Paying attention to such temporalities reveals new dimensions of pastoral mobility as well as advances our understanding of mobility as a theoretical concept in itself.

Conference topic

Panel no. 10 - Lost in Representation: Changes and Paradoxes in the Nomads' Life

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Abstract Review

This abstract was reviewed on 2021-01-07 16:16h by giuliagonzales

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