The Confines of Time – On the Ebbing Away of Futures in Sierra Leone and Palestine

Andrew Jefferson, Lotte Buch Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article contributes to an understanding of the existential character of confinement by directing attention to the interlinked concepts of tiredness and foreboding. Through juxtaposition and analysis of material gathered among people whose lives are lived under compromised circumstances in Sierra Leone and Palestine we illuminate the way time – not only space – confines. Our analytical concern is with the way in which futures are anticipated by people confined in space and time, where conditions of possibility are materially and sometimes corporeally suffocating. To anticipate fragile futures, or to mourn futures terminated early is exhausting. Tiredness, from this perspective, is a ubiquitous and overwhelming sentiment suffusing what it means to live in confining sites. It is an expression of foreboding understood as a ‘being towards death’ (Stevenson 2014).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-112
Issue number1
Early online date18 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • confinement
  • endurance
  • foreboding
  • future
  • Sierra Leone
  • Palestine


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