This panel focuses on hunting, conservation and apartheid architecture in South Africa and Namibia. It engages with spatial and geographical discourses around development and examines histories and historiographies of the rural-urban binary that sustain notions of progress and development.
This panel explores encounters between the rural and the urban through the historical analysis of their material and conceptual construction. Focusing on the landscapes of hunting and conservation in South Africa and Namibia, as well as the architectural practices of apartheid, we engage with the spatial and geographical discourses around development that have rendered the African continent as always already rural, and Africans as subjects perpetually caught between tradition and modernity. More particularly, this panel examines the histories as well as the historiographies that have placed the rural in opposition with the urban, while simultaneously constructing one in relation to the other through categories of progress and development. We consider development - a physical construction and progressive social platform - as a concept that relies on sustaining the binary opposition between the rural and urban in order to justify its continued practices. By drawing out the ways this binary has historically been sustained in thought and practice, this panel takes a critical approach to forms of 'progress' to ask how (or whether) the rural/urban relationship can be refigured for a future beyond a perpetual 'development'.