Engaged Lingering: Urban Contingency in the pandemic present with Covid-19 in Denmark

Mikkel Bille, Mikkel Thelle

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


This article explores the intensification of contingency in an urban setting during the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Denmark. Based on interviews with fifty-one residents in the two largest cities in Denmark from the very first day of lockdown, it explores how the respondents expressed a friction between adapting to isolation, powerlessness and feelings of being out of time on the one hand, while simultaneously also being confronted with urgency through media and the immediacy of urban encounters on the other. Drawing on the works of François Hartog on presentism and Ben Anderson on terror preparedness, the central argument in this article is that with COVID-19 we see parallel negotiations of unknown futures near and far, in which urban contingency intensifies an already presentist sense of time. As one way of coping with the situation, people are actively lingering in a present without clear connections to past or future, fostering a form of stasis and hesitancy. In what we call an engaged lingering, urgency unfolds in seemingly contradictory ways to become simultaneously an everyday of frantic motion and paralysis
TidsskriftSocial Anthropology
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)110-125
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 2022
Udgivet eksterntJa
  • Den Pandemiske By

    Bille, M. & Thelle, M.


    Projekter: ProjektForskning

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