This dataset presents longitudinal data collected through four surveys (in six-monthly intervals) of fresh university and polytechnic graduates in Nigeria. The data were collected from 21,940 unique young men and women who underwent National Youth Service Corps (nysc) programme across ten states in Nigeria. The nysc programme is a compulsory one-year national service that all Nigerians under the age of 30 years must undergo after graduation. A key component of the one-year service is the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (saed) programme of the nysc. The dataset is useful for many purposes. It contains enough information to fully profile the entrepreneurship and apprenticeship characteristics of the fresh graduates. Moreover, it can be used to quantify the potential pool of future entrepreneurs among highly educated Nigerian youth. The dataset was originally used to assess the impact of saed, being an apprenticeship-based entrepreneurship intervention, on entrepreneurial outcomes among young persons. However, its use may also extend to an assessment of the impact of compulsory entrepreneurship training in the Nigerian university system that produced most of the respondents.
At least since the 1990s, there has been a notable rise in pro-sex movements, and theorists, alike. They advocate strongly for personal sovereignty, focussing more deliberately on the pleasure, transgression and experimentation aspects of sex. Pornography, or mediated sex, can be seen as yet another site to reproduce society’s obsession with all things sexual and falsely present its passive audience with singular narratives that influence the formation of sexual subjects. In this paper, we argue that alternative pornography may offer a respite from this sort of critique. Whereas mainstream pornography proliferates and predominates in the adult entertainment market, it can be unimaginative, repetitive, and artificial, as opposed to a more creative, radical, and authentic alternative pornography. Technological expansions, online accessibility and participatory global cultures have not only provided individuals a way in which to bypass the mainstream, but also, to gain relatively easy admittance to a previously obscure form of erotic life. While normalized mainstream pornography offers us a narrow sexual script that objectifies its performers and straightjackets its audience, alternative pornography acts as a form of resistance to mainstream and societal limitations, hence offering sexual subjects and objects an opportunity for greater freedom and agency.
The COVID-19 pandemic is only one of the many pandemics that have led to a profound change. This chapter surveys not only the problems that arise in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, such as confinement, lockdown, isolation, fear, boredom, or income-loss, but also the issues of which the pandemic is the symptom: environmental degradation, population growth and the place of human sexuality. To help respond to these matters, this chapter first reviews the shifting attitudes towards eros and then draws on two contrasting religious traditions: the Tantra of Kashmir Shaivism and Christianity. Tantra proposes the paradoxical interplay of pleasure and asceticism, horror and eroticism, an interplay which leads to the highest form of consciousness and bliss. This chapter also draws on elements within Christianity that are traditional but have not been highlighted. It is explained how inner strengths can lead to unimaginably intense pleasures, and how the interplay of life and death is in fact highly erotic. Finally, seven present-day issues and their possible solutions are examined. In this manner, these two traditions, as expounded in this chapter, show the way forward to an epochal change and enable the forms required for this process to take place successfully.
The COVID-19 pandemic has furthered the experience and awareness of cinematic sensations as the restrictions redefine our relation to eros. Selecting Fatih Akin’s 2004 film titled Gegen die Wand (Head-On), this chapter explores the use of the sensory, the affect, and the erotic in the film’s cinematography and how it is relevant to our time. Akin encourages embodied affective responses in the viewer, bypassing the potential socio-political fallout as he presents a love story between unlikely lovers. The selected scenes examine Akin’s filmmaking techniques, which give the viewer an experience of sensation beyond what is seen, placing Head-On in the cinema of sensation. The social and cultural repression, and the emotional responses raised in the film are not only still present and amplified, but are now coupled with the pressures of the pandemic. Thinking along the new normal, the analysis suggests that the pandemic, having suppressed intimacy, has increased the hunger for touch, the longing for interpersonal and intimate touch, making us aware of the absence of eros. The cinema of sensation is rekindled in the time of COVID-19, leaving its mark on the ongoing future of cinema.
This chapter examines the attacks on sexuality during the COVID-19 pandemic by mainstream right-wing populist Greek media, and theorizes on the social experience of “mis-sublimation.” These attacks constitute a vilification of the sexuality of young people and women—stripping both of them of sexuality as an emancipatory force—while their “hypersexuality” and their supposed lack of respect for social norms is ferociously criticized. First, the chapter presents the events taking place in Greece. Secondly, it examines the patriarchal sexualization of male politicians. Thirdly, it traces the experience of “desublimation” and “mis-sublimation” in today’s Greek society. While Sigmund Freud’s and Herbert Marcuse’s concepts of “sublimation” and “desublimation” remain highly relevant, the most recent cultural and political transformations demand new conceptual frameworks. As the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are extended through uncertainty and political manipulation, I suggest that another type of transformation of sexual energy takes place: this is what I call “mis-sublimation,” the consequence of women’s and young people’s new efforts to become socially acceptable, when society is still withholding approval. This results not in aggression, but in new forms of political apathy and, moreover, in depression.
With poetry sales and online readership increasing substantially in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, I began to make the connection between—the threat of—death, isolation and self-rediscovery aided by the act of reading poetry. In this chapter, I examine the effects of the pandemic strictures on the self through the potentially transformative power of reading poetry. The reading of poetry during this enforced pause from the “normal” offers in its sequestered space and solitude the freedom to be, freedom from external determining structures of identity. The seductive pleasure of reading leads to the pleasure of knowing—the self. To this end, I interview two people who report that in the face of possible death and loss and experienced solitude they reclaimed something that identified their true desire. Both speak to the space the pandemic had created to read and peel away false layers, to unmask the real self in terms of identity and desire—like discovering their sexual orientation and their own sexuality. Ironically, pandemic restrictions and the turn to poetry have allowed individuals to find the language to express and respond to poetry’s potentially transformative power.
pros-thesis is a short experimental research film inspired by the plastic arts project SACRUM (2017-unfinished), a three-dimensional, mixed-media, body-themed box-assemblage. pros-thesis intimates how SACRUM is the exteriorization of the sentient consciousnesses of the model and the artist, and the capacity to re-invent themselves through self-replication. The film reveals how mutual affection not only engenders convergence but nurtures an autonomous existence, while it hints at the sensations elicited through body casting, which makes possible the exact facsimiles of their intimate parts. As model and artist create a prosthesis of their paired bodies, the film pros-thesis shows that the materialization of SACRUM brings them closer; they are together in a process which involves the subjective objectification of themselves through each other. SACRUM is all about coming together to mutually enrich each other’s embodiments. Via its own reticulation, pros-thesis highlights the experience of pluralization, whose correlation with otherness is evocative of Luce Irigaray’s observation that woman—as other—is essentially always two rather than one, on account of her two labia which continuously caress each other.
Cubans favor public gathering and socializing in common areas such as parks, squares/plazas, or along the malecón—the boulevard that traverses the sea wall along most of the length of the city. However, personal space is a commodity that only a select few can afford, and is often viewed with suspicion. This combination of cultural attitudes and political pressures created particular challenges for individuals and communities whose desires did not fit neatly into the prescribed norms. Queer subjects have had to carefully carve out spaces for clandestine encounters—whether sexual, social, or some combination thereof—for most of the last 60 years. This essay will examine how the landscape of non-normative sexuality is represented in major Cuban literary and cinematic works of the last decades. More specifically, it will focus on Ena Lucia Portela’s Cien Botellas en Una Pared, a work that delves into the complex world of non-normative desires that live beyond the facade of Central Havana. This analysis will then serve as a lens to explore how that landscape is being reshaped by the conditions of the pandemic and what they underscore about revolutionary ideals and the limitations of sexual normativity in 21st century Havana.