At one end of a generator petrol pours in. At the other, electricity, smoke, and sound flood out. Like a living being the generator ingests and expels. In Nigeria generators were once icons of elite mobility known by the name "better pass my neighbour." Now they are ubiquitous, coming in all sizes, their sound, smell and presence absolutely integral to how Nigeria functions. This paper examines generator life. It focuses on their physicality, how generators shape the technologized, ambient environment of urban Nigeria. Examining the daily virtuosity required to obtain petrol, fill, operate and repair generators, the paper explores the relations between technology and urban life.
This event is sponsored by the University of Indiana Department of Anthropology.