Writing the world from another African metropolis: Luanda and the urban question
Ricardo Cardoso (UC Berkeley)
Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues (Nordic Africa Institute)
Start time:
28 June, 2013 at 16:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Following on Mbembe and Nuttall's efforts to write the world from Johannesburg, this panel will elaborate on the particularities of Luanda's engagement with the global as a means for thinking about the condition of contemporary cities and addressing the urban question in Africa and elsewhere.

Long abstract:

Luanda stands at the forefront of Africa's changing relationship with the world. Going through multiple processes of reconstruction, transformation and restructuring, its rising skyline, burgeoning peripheries and sprouting satellite cities are emerging from and into both material configurations and immaterial forms of global contemporaneity. Looking into some of those processes from a broad array of urban perspectives, this panel seeks to explore the attributes of such emergence in order to help construe the lineaments of that changing relationship as a range of mutually constituted phenomena. Following on Mbembe and Nuttall's celebrated efforts to theorize the worldliness of contemporary African life forms from Johannesburg, the aim is to extend the boundaries of our empirical reach while writing the world from the capital of Angola. In order to fulfill this aim, we welcome papers from different disciplines that take upon the case of Luanda. The sole requirement is that they attempt to think and break through the limits in current approaches to the urban question in Africa and elsewhere. A conceptual landscape dominated by the impasse between political economy and post-colonial studies leaves fundamental blind spots in our analytical competence, and subsequently undermines our capacity to adequately act upon processes of urbanization in and beyond the continent. By elaborating on the particularities of Luanda's engagement with the global, the contributions to this panel will account for the complexity of contemporary cities and the constituting intricacies of our multipolar world.