In the context of the social sciences and humanities, research on islands from a variety of disciplines is primarily characterised by spatiality as a fundamental determinant of island cultures. The frequent emphasis on spatiality has resulted in representations of islands as constrained both in everyday life and geographically and marked by a historicised present and a belated modernity. In doing so, the transformative and dynamic character of culture has often been neglected, as well as the heterogeneity of the lived experience of island communities. By placing an analytical focus on island temporalities in relation to the frequently emphasised spatiality of the islands themselves, the intention of this thematic issue is to contribute to the expansion of knowledge on the complexities of island communities and their negotiations of temporalities, but also to engage in the current scientific debate on the poetics and politics of temporality.
Temporality is often uncritically taken to imply a singular and linear flow of time, one colloquially and metaphorically referred to as the passage of time, which overlooks the heterogeneity of temporal experiences and their complex relationship with space. Research inspired by the postcolonial approach has already problematized the phenomenon of temporality beyond deterministic structures of linearity and chronological causality by criticizing the temporal singularity resulting from Western hegemony and capitalist logic. In an attempt to move away from privileged spatialised approaches and guided by knowledge of culturally, historically, and socially shaped experiences of temporality, the temporal turn has opened up a number of stimulating research topics. Taking into account the entanglement of space, class, gender, identity, community, mobility, and culture proves to be a prerequisite for understanding the social production of time in specific cultural contexts. Based on many familiar examples, there is a growing concern for a critical understanding of temporality that goes further than our typical, abstract, clockwise-oriented conception of time. Contemporary time is experienced through radical contradictions as it dictates our everyday activities and marks our language. Notions of “me time” or “no time at all” fundamentally reconfigure our everyday life. “Time is money” parallelly co-exists with longing for “boredom” or “time at a slower pace”. Even now, in the “time of Covid-19” and ecological crises, we crave for relaxation and procrastination to escape possible dark thoughts of what sometimes feels like a not-so-bright future. Awash in a multitude of temporalities, now is the time for ethnographically grounded research that will enable us to think about and beyond the usual perception of time in our everyday lives.
In this thematic issue of Narodna umjetnost – Croatian Journal of Ethnology and Folklore Research, we approach temporality as a historically and socially situated process, or as a way of being that is created in mutually interconnected processes between individuals and their cultural contexts. Our aim is to provide new perspectives on the diversity of temporal experiences on islands, which are often reduced to essentialized notions of life on the islands, nostalgia for the lost “island tradition”, and rhetoric on depopulation coupled with dramatic appeals to save the remaining island cultural phenomena (traditional architecture, the economy, dialects, food culture, etc.).
We want to reflect on the heterogeneity of lived experiences through the prism of island temporalities conceived as specific historical, social, and cultural modalities of being. It is our goal to refresh our understanding of island temporalities by enriching the spatial perspective for different temporal modalities that shape the way islanders and non-islanders experience time (the role of seasonal rhythms, the echoes of development policies, the co-existence of multiple temporalities, including temporal fragments, expectations, boredom, static notions of time).
We invite you to contribute your papers and thus join us in reflecting on the analytical categories of temporality and developing the vocabulary for thinking about island temporalities. We offer additional thematic directions though the following research questions and topics:
• visions of island futures facing development changes,
• mobility and temporality, • temporality in artistic expression,
• precariousness and temporality,
• temporal distortion of the mainland and islands,
• tourist representations of temporality,
• multiple temporalities and vulnerabilities of island communities,
• environmental temporalities and environmental vulnerability
Narodna umjetnost – Croatian Journal of Ethnology and Folklore Research is an international peerreviewed, open access journal published by the Institute of Ethnology and Folkore Research. The journal is indexed in Anthropological Index Online (RAI), CEEOL – Central and Eastern European Online Library, DOAJ, EBSCO Humanities international complete, ERIH plus, IBBS – International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, MLA International Bibliography, MLA Directory of Periodicals, Open Folklore, RILM – Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale, SCOPUS. Articles are published in English and Croatian in the fields of ethnology and cultural anthropology, folklore studies, philology, ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology and other similar disciplines. Narodna umjetnost is published both in print and online version.
Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the NU submission guidelines