A multi-faceted compilation of texts that address African urbanity from a variety of perspectives in academic, artistic, activist, poetic ways. The editors are fed up with the usual exaggerations, caricatures, stereotypes, or just plain moralistic nonsense that can be found in pretty much all academic and popular culture publications on the subject: “The African Cities Reader seeks to call this state of affairs to order. We are not interested in comprehensive explanations or answers. Instead, we are attracted to an aesthetic agenda that can capture something about the stylisation of thought and practice as it emerges from the complex indeterminacies of city-making, city-burning and city-dreaming,” they write in the preface to their first issue.

The collaborative project between the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town and the pan-African platform “Chimurenga” publishes comprehensive catalogs every two years on phenomena, histories and perspectives of urban life on the African continent.

Under the titles

“Pan-African Practices.

“Mobilities & Fixtures”

“Land, Property and Value.

three issues of the “African Cities Reader” have been published to date, all three can be ordered here or read and downloaded for free at this link.”

About the African Cities Reader, the creators themselves write: “the African Cities Reader seeks to become a forum where Africans will tell their own stories, draw their own maps and represent their own spatial topographies as it continuously to evolve and adapt at the interstice of difference, complexity, opportunism, and irony. […] In terms of focus, tone and sensibility, the ACR is vibrant, unapologetic, free, accessible and open, provocative, fresh, not taking itself too seriously, but also being rigorous and premised on the assumption that it will grow and evolve over time. It is open to multiple genres (literature, philosophy, faction, reportage, ethnographic narrative, etc), forms of representation (text, image, sound and possibly performance), and points of view.”


Comments are closed.