Chris Vasantkumar

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Macquarie U.

Grant number

Gr. 10253

Approve Date

October 7, 2021

Project Title

Vasantkumar, Chris (Macquarie U.) "Money and the Future in Zimbabwe's Crisis Economy"

Between 2009 and 2019, in Zimbabwe, money fell apart, scattering the usual functions of modern general purpose money across multiple physical and electronic currencies. This research will elucidate the effects of this collapse on middle-class Zimbabweans’ attitudes toward and strategies of resilience with regard to money, planning, and the future in the context of their nation’s ongoing economic crisis. It focuses on two main sets of research questions: 1a) How have experiences of “endemic crisis” (Vigh 2009) affected attitudes toward to the future, particularly vis a vis the possibility or impossibility of planning for a better life? How has money’s collapse reshaped the temporality of everyday economic practices? 1b)What strategies have such experiences produced for managing situations in which planning predicated on stable political and economic forms is impossible? 2a) How has the collapse of money in contemporary Zimbabwe reconfigured attitudes towards the different kinds of money (that have been invested with (and divested of) value over the last turbulent decade? 2b) How has the process of reconstituting money over the last few years reshaped understandings about the relationship between cash and cashless transactions? How do Zimbabweans conceptualize the relationship between these two kinds of money?