Ataya: HUMA Interdisciplinary Seminar Series

Speaker: Gabin Korbeogo, University Joseph Ki-Zerbo of Ouagadougou

► Project/Paper: 

Gabin Korbéogo currently serves as a professor of sociology and the head of the laboratory Groupe de recherche sur les initiatives locales (GRIL) at the University Joseph Ki-Zerbo in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. His research concentrates on urban and rural livelihoods and environmental resources, specializing in land governance, natural resource conflicts, gender analyses, and mixed methods. As a recipient of a research grant from the University Joseph Ki-Zerbo, he is a visiting fellow at HUMA where he focuses on a manuscript focusing on the temporalities of Covid-19 in medical centers in Burkina Faso.

Uncertainty is a pervasive characteristic of contemporary West African societies, with climate change, food insecurity, violence, and wars, compounded by resource scarcity, serving as historical indicators. Additionally, the Ebola and Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemics and their associated human and socio-economic repercussions have further intensified uncertainties, particularly within health systems. It is within this context of unprecedented crises and their reverberations that social scientists argue for a transition from the concept of a 'risk society' to that of the 'age of uncertainty' or 'time crisis'. Drawing on a comprehensive approach and qualitative research conducted at the regional hospital of Tenkodogo (a small city in Burkina Faso), this paper investigates how healthcare workers anticipate, perceive, and prepare for uncertainties stemming from future epidemics. The paper delves into how, in the face of uncertainty stemming from multiple crises, especially that of COVID-19, medical staff negotiate temporalities both individually and collectively. It demonstrates that beliefs, solidarity, and communication among health workers influence their capacity to manage uncertainty effectively. Lastly, the paper underscores that the efficacy of norms and the design of public health interventions hinge not only on systemic mechanisms but also on socio-sanitary contingencies and the competence of healthcare professionals to interpret and implement them advantageously.

How Ataya works: One presenter and their work – in exchange with the audience. Each Ataya session engages with selected work by the presenter (a text, artwork, performance, even food). The presenter introduces their work and grounds the subsequent discussion with the participants. For best engagement, we recommend participants to view the work (made available in advance on our website) before the session. More on the Ataya Series

Refreshments will be served at 12:30 SAST (GMT+2).

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