20 (2)

Daydreaming Between Dusk and Dawn
Orvar Löfgren & Billy Ehn

The play of light and dark from dusk to dawn produces rich ituations for daydreaming. This paper explores such terrains of everyday fantasies, drawing on a larger, ongoing study of daydreaming as a cultural practice. Taking the Scandinavian experience with its strong
seasonal variations in light as a starting point, different contexts of nightly daydreams are explored, the twilight zone, the sleepless hours at night, the approaching dawn and its morning routines. How are moods and daydreams linked in such situations, what kinds ofcultural raw materials are used and how have the conditions changed over time?


Life After Dark in Kwahu Tafo
Sjaak van der Geest

The author reflects on four nocturnal topics he observed during his research in Kwahu-Tafo, a rural Ghanaian town: witchcraft, sex, human waste removal and sleeping. Yet little of his fieldwork was in fact nocturnal. He also asked school students to write about their views of life after dark in their town. From these reflections, the night in Kwahu-Tafo is revealed as both the ‘enemy’ of the day - a realm for activities that were not allowed or possible during the day - and as the day’s indispensable companion. The night solves the moral dilemmas of the
day. The night provides the coulisses of the day. (back)

Testing Nightscapes. African Pentecostal. Politics of the Nocturnal
Rijk van Dijk

Pentecostalism in Africa has developed a special relationship with the night as a time for conducting specific religious activities. Of these, the night vigil is the best-known, with its underlying notions concerning darkness, invisible powers, faith and community. Ghanaian Pentecostals view the night as a kind of landscape where certain spaces and places become important to test the strength of one’s personal faith and convictions because the time after dark produces ambiguities of the good and the bad, or the superior and the inferior, of the spiritual powers that manifest themselves. Participation in Pentecostal night-time activities signals a modernity of Pentecostal beliefs and identities which, by confronting the powers of darkness, bring about a strengthening of the faith that churches and leaders aim to establish in interaction with their following. This contribution ventures to sensitize anthropology to the modernity of these forms of Christianity and the way they are becoming active producers of social and spiritual environments – defined here as Pentecostal nightscaping – as testing grounds for the efficacy of their faith. (back)

Bangalore @ Night. Indian IT Professionals and the Global Clock Ticking
Michiel Baas

This article deals with the question of what the night means to IT (information technology) professionals working in the Indian IT industry in Bangalore. In particular, it argues that the way IT work gets done (in India) demands a type of flexibility of an IT worker that‘forces’ him to rethink perceptions of working hours (in particular day and night shift). At the same time the article introduces the accounts of people who do not work for the IT industry, but have to deal with its impact on a daily basis. Their comments give us a deeper understanding of the working of this industry and the impact it has made on the city of Bangalore. (back)

To balance
Franziska Jentsch

Nothing Shines as Bright as a Beirut Night

Nicolien Kegels

In times of peace, rich Lebanese youth use the glitzy, glamorous, yet rigidly regulated nightlife of Beirut as the stage on which to imagine themselves ‘a class apart’ from the chaotic everyday reality of a politically and economically unstable country. In times of war,
nightlife continues as usual, yet this time it allows the young-and-trendy to imagine themselves to be as Lebanese as everybody else. Under the slogan ‘war or peace, we continue to live life as normal’, members of the Beiruti party scene assert their Lebanese-ness by embedding their clubbing in a national discourse of resistance and resilience. (back)