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Creative Cities in Africa

Creative Cities in Africa

Critical Architecture and Urbanism The contemporary notion of the ‘creative city’, connected to present-day regimes of digital urban creative (or smart) cities in neoliberal, city branding, place marketing, digital marketing nomads, is a dominant trope of international progress and development, and there has been a surprisingly positive, yet often uncritical uptake of the discourses of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Buzz words abound in city studies such as resilience, sustainability, innovation, and inequality, yet these are all too often framed within scientific, technical and political economy debates.

Economics, development and innovation History, humanities and liberation New Releases

  • Product Information
  • Format: 168mm x 240mm
  • Pages: 214
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-7969-2648-7
  • Rights: World Rights

Critical Architecture and Urbanism The contemporary notion of the ‘creative city’, connected to present-day regimes of digital urban creative (or smart) cities in neoliberal, city branding, place marketing, digital marketing nomads, is a dominant trope of international progress and development, and there has been a surprisingly positive, yet often uncritical uptake of the discourses of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Buzz words abound in city studies such as resilience, sustainability, innovation, and inequality, yet these are all too often framed within scientific, technical and political economy debates. As editors, we are interested in how these issues seldom appear as carefully considered questions integrated with scholarship around the social and especially the aesthetic. This collection seeks to frame critical approaches to architecture and urbanism, exploring new and alternative disciplinary forms of writing, thinking and making the city. Beyond the current debates, the work of authors in this collection variously surface patterns of critical interdisciplinary thought and historicise this in relation to debates in African Studies, historical and heritage studies as well as in the creative arts and popular culture realms. Creative Cities in Africa will examine how the built environment and its complex relationship to aesthetics, art and design, were part of the historical processes of city building or city transformation. Through decolonial struggles, independence and after, high modernism, and the search for African authentic identity, ‘creativity’ has been employed to build and shape cities thata needed to respond to challenges of the day. Architects, landscapers, craftspeople, musicians, artists, designers, curators, restorers, model-makers from Africa and Europe were involved in imaging, structuring and shaping African cities. How did politicians, planners and power brokers deploy notions of creativity across the history of African cities from colonialism onwards and how did their plans correspond to the practices of creative practitioners in ‘contemporary’ art, gallery design, curatorial practice, heritage management, music, public sculpture and public art, decorative programmes and ecological design? In thinking through dream maps of the unbuilt, unplanned, and ‘informal’ architectures and aesthetic, exhibitions and speculative and Afrofuturist propositions the volume brings together a variety of creative writing in a scholarly frame about the African city. The volume draws together planners, artists, architects, historians, literary and visual scholars from across the continent and the globe into debate on critical architecture and urbanism in Africa. The voices brought together, ranging from internationally-renowned figures to emerging scholars, provide analysis of African cities — Ville Fantôme, Johannesburg, Lubumbashi, Dakar, Nairobi, Douala, Dalaba, Durban, and Maputo.

List of figures vi
Acronyms and abbreviations viii
Introduction: What do creative cities create? 1
Noëleen Murray and Jonathan Cane

Chapter 1
Ville Fantôme: African cities as prolegomena 15
Jonathan Cane

Chapter 2
Johannesburg: The Nelson Mandela Bridge as a sign of urban transformation 32
Mfaniseni Fana Sihlongonyane

Chapter 3
Lubumbashi: An ‘open-air architectural museum’? Shifting narrations on the architectural and urban landscapes of a (post)colonial city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 50
Johan Lagae

Chapter 4
Dakar: Scaffolding for monuments to the African Renaissance 75
Svea Josephy

Chapter 5
Nairobi: Creative empires of South African design 92
Noëleen Murray

Chapter 6
Douala: Everydayness and creativity otherwise 112
Loren March

Chapter 7
Dalaba: Sol d’Exil 133
Ângela Ferreira and Jonathan Cane

Chapter 8
Durban: Expressions of sociocultural identities in the architecture of the Surat Hindu Association 151
Sushma Patel

Chapter 9
Maputo: Monumentality and architectural discretion 174
David Morton

Chapter 10
Johannesburg: The Trinity Session and empathic, creative city-making in Paterson Park 194
Carmel Rawhani

About the contributors 220

Index 225

Noëleen Murray is an architect and interdisciplinary scholar based in Africa. Since 2014 she has held the University of Pretoria Research Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism, the creative impetus for this edited volume. Affiliated to the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria, she was previously the director of the Wits City Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where she also held the Andrew W. Mellon Chair. With architectural degrees (BAS, BArch and MArch) and a PhD in African Studies from the University of Cape Town, her key writings include Desire Lines – Space, Memory and Identity in the Post-apartheid City (2007); Becoming UWC: Reflections, Pathways and the Unmaking of Apartheid’s Legacy (2012) and Hostels, Homes, Museum: Memorializing Migrant Labour Pasts in Lwandle South Africa (2014), co-authored with Leslie Witz, which received the Michael M. Ames Award for Innovative Museum Anthropology from the Council for Museum Anthropology of the American Association of Anthropologists.

Jonathan Cane is an Assistant Professor of History of Art at the University of Warwick and a research associate in the Research Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism, University of Pretoria. Cane holds a PhD in art history from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and is the author of Civilising Grass: The Art of the Lawn on the South African Highveld (2019), a queer and postcolonial study of gardening. A specialist in spatial and environmental humanities, his work focuses on the poetics of struggle against oppression in the Global South. His practice-based research and design work has been exhibited and published on numerous platforms. His two decades of output have resulted in video artworks, installations, several typeset and designed publications and, most recently, web-based works. He was the exhibition designer of Monsoonal Multiplicities (2021) and co-leads an ongoing research and archival project on the People’s Parks Archive.

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