Refusing to Grow Old: The Antichronocratic Labour of Cypriot Activist Youth and What It Can Teach Us About Decolonizing Childhood and Related Knowledge Production

Keywords: temporality, degrowth, decolonization, youth activism, everyday


Through registering the chronopolitics of Cypriot teenage antiauthoritarian activists, this article explores the antichronocratic labour of children as a way to engage with processes of degrowth and to create dissident everyday temporalities through which to build alternative communities and relations in the present. It is argued that paying attention to such labour unsettles the hegemonic temporality of linear development and the individualized child of capitalist modernity while also troubling the consequent individual character of agency that has been hegemonic in childhood studies thus far. Such attention must infuse research on childhood(s) in its attempt to decolonize childhood and related knowledge production.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Abu-Lughold, L. (1990). The romance of resistance: Tracing transformations of power through Bedouin women. American Ethnologist, 17(1), 41–55.

Bhambra, G. K. (2014). Postcolonial and decolonial dialogues. Postcolonial Studies, 17(2), 115–121.

Bryant, R. (2004). Imagining the modern: The cultures of nationalism in Cyprus. I. B. Tauris.

Bryant, R. (2006). On the condition of postcoloniality in Cyprus. In Y. Papadakis, N. Peristianis, & G. Welz (Eds.), Divided Cyprus: Modernity, history, and an island in conflict (pp. 47–65). Indiana University Press.

Bryant, R., & Papadakis, Y. (2012). Introduction: Modalities of time, history and memory in ethnonational conflicts. In R. Bryant & Y. Papadakis (Eds.), Cyprus and the politics of memory: History, community, and conflict (pp. 1–26). I. B. Tauris.

Burman, E. (1994a). Innocents abroad: Western fantasies of childhood in the iconography of emergencies. Disasters: Journal of Disaster Studies and Management, 18(3), 238–251.

Burman, E. (1994b). Development phallacies: Psychology, gender, and childhood. Agenda: A Journal about Women and Gender, 22(1), 11–17.

Burman, E. (2019). Child as method: Implications for decolonizing educational research. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 28(1), 4–26.

Cannella, G. S., & Viruru, R. (2004). Childhood and postcolonization: Power, education, and contemporary practice. Routledge.

Cheney, K. (2019). Decolonizing childhood studies: Overcoming patriarchy and prejudice in child-related research and practice. In S. Spyrou, R. Rosen & D. T. Cook (Eds.), Reimagining childhood studies (pp. 91–104). Bloomsbury Academic.

Christou, G. (2018). Children out of place with childhood: Pupils’ assemblies, direct action, serious play, and public space in youth’s autonomous horizontal politics in Cyprus. [Doctoral dissertation, University of Sussex]. University of Sussex Repository.

Christou, G. (2021). Agitative pauses, intentional moorings: Stasis as resistance. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 39(4), 685–703.

Christou, G., Theodorou, E., & Spyrou, S. (2022). “The slow pandemic”: Youth’s climate activism and the stakes for youth movements under COVID-19. Children’s Geographies.

Christou, M. (2006). A double imagination: Memory and education in Cyprus. Journal of Modern Greek Studies, 24(2), 285–306.

della Porta, D., & Diani, M. (2006). Social movements: An introduction. Blackwell.

Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (B Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press.

Fabian, J. (1983). Time and the Other: How anthropology makes its object. Columbia University Press.

Foucault, M. (1982). Afterword: The subject and power. In H. L. Dreyfus & P. Rabinow (Eds.), Beyond structuralism and hermeneutics (pp. 208–226). University of Chicago Press.

Gardiner, M. (2000). Critiques of everyday life. Routledge.

Gregoriou, Z. (2004). De-scribing hybridity in “unspoiled Cyprus”: Postcolonial tasks for the theory of education. Comparative Education, 40(2), 241–266.

James, A. (2009). Agency. In J. Qvortrup, W. A. Corsaro, & M. Honig (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of childhood studies (pp. 34–45). Palgrave Macmillan.

James, A., & Prout, A. (1997). Re-presenting childhood: Time and transition in the study of childhood. In J. Allison & A. Prout (Eds.), Constructing and reconstructing childhood (pp. 230–250). Falmer Press.

Jenks, C. (2005). Childhood. Routledge.

Kallis, G., & March, H. (2015). Imaginaries of hope: The utopianism of degrowth. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 105(2), 360–368.

Kidman, J., MacDonald, L., Funaki, H., Ormond, A., Southon, P., & Tomlins-Jahnkne, H. (2020). “Native time” in the white city: Indigenous youth temporalities in settler-colonial space. Children’s Geographies, 19(1), 24–36.

Kirtsoglou, E., & Simpson, B. (Eds). (2020). The time of anthropology: Studies of contemporary chronopolitics. Routledge.

Lee, N. (2001). Childhood and society. Growing up in an age of uncertainty. Open University Press.

Lesko, N. (1996). Denaturalizing adolescence: The politics of contemporary representations. Youth & Society, 28(2), 139–161.

Liebel, M. (2003). Working children as social subjects: The contributions of working children’s organizations to social transformations. Childhood, 10(3), 265–285.

Liebel, M., Overwien, B., & Recknagel, A. (2001). Working children’s protagonism: Social movements and empowerment in Latin America, Africa, and India. IKO (Verlag für interkulturelle Kommunikation).

Millei, Z., Silova, I., & Piattoeva, N. (2018). Towards decolonizing childhood and knowledge production. In I. Silova, N. Piattoeva, & Z. Millei (Eds.), Childhood and schooling in (post) socialist societies: Memories of everyday life (pp. 231–255). Palgrave Macmillan.

Munn, N. D. (1992). The cultural anthropology of time: A critical essay. Annual Review of Anthropology, 21, 93–123.

Nieuwenhuys, O. (2013). Theorizing childhood(s): Why we need postcolonial perspectives. Childhood, 20(1), 3–8.

Persianis, P., & Poliviou, P. (1992). History of education in Cyprus [in Greek]. Cyprus Pedagogical Institute.

Plant, S. (1992). The most radical gesture: The Situationist International in a postmodern age. Routledge.

Skapoula. (2011, April). Why we don’t dig schooling. Skapoula: Self-Organized Pupils’ Magazine, 2 [in Greek].

Skapoula. (2012, October). Assihtir 1 [Street brochure; in Greek].

Spyrou, S. (2018). Disclosing childhoods: Research and knowledge-production for a critical childhood studies. Palgrave Macmillan.

Spyrou, S., Rosen, R., & Cook, D. T. (2019). Reimagining childhood studies. Bloomsbury Academic.

van Daalen, E., & Mabillard, N. (2019). Human rights in translation: Bolivia’s law 548, working children’s movements, and the global child labour regime. The International Journal of Human Rights, 23(4), 596–614.

Vaneigem, R. (2001). The revolution of everyday life. Rebel Press. (Original work published in 1967)

How to Cite
Christou, G. (2023). Refusing to Grow Old: The Antichronocratic Labour of Cypriot Activist Youth and What It Can Teach Us About Decolonizing Childhood and Related Knowledge Production. Journal of Childhood Studies, 73-84.