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Caught between Past and Future: On the Uses of Temporal Figurations for Political Exclusion
Moira Pérez.
En Zoltán Boldizsár Simon y Lars Deile, Historical Understanding: Past, Present and Future. Londres (Reino Unido): Bloomsbury.
The distribution of events and actors along chronological lines is central to historiographical practice, and the issue of who and what is included and under what terms has been intensely studied by feminist, decolonial and postcolonial scholars. Temporal figurations, that is, the concrete, varying ways in which time is organized through representations (historiographical or other), are a key instrument for the differential assortment of subjects and the allocation of agency. In this chapter I characterize temporal figurations and, building on cases referred to political minorities, illuminate some aspects of how they are used to shape our political present and to select its inhabitants. In analyzing not temporality in itself but temporal figurations, I intend to draw attention to some of the political underpinnings and implications of their production. My aim is to understand how such figurations are used as instruments to curtail individual and collective agency, by pushing certain subjects out of the present, where political agency is possible, and into either an extinct past or an ever-postponed future. The consequences of this are vital for the political configuration of any given society, since political agency involves the capacity to act in the present, an acknowledgement of such capacity by other groups, and the active participation in political decisions as well as in the distribution of life opportunities.
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