Histories of Imagining Urban Futures in Central Africa


WHEN April 25, 2017
6:30-8 PM WHERE NYUAD Campus, Conference Center WHO NYU Abu Dhabi Institute Open to the Public

Starting from ‘The Tower. A Concrete Utopia’ (2015), a video-installation made by Congolese photographer Sammy Baloji and Belgian anthropologist Filip De Boeck, this talk proposes a reflection on the legacy of modernist architecture in Kinshasa, the social afterlives of colonialist infrastructure, and different historical and contemporary utopian visions of the city, including those coming from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other new urban hotspots. Reflecting upon colonial modernity’s promises, its visions of possible futurities, and the way in which these visions continue to inspire (or not) urban life in Central Africa today, this presentation not only comments upon the degradation of colonial infrastructures but also explores the ways in which the city continues to reformulate these earlier propositions, threading new openings, possibilities and alternative utopian visions into the very ruination of its material fabric.

  • Filip De Boeck, Professor of Anthropology, Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa; Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven
Hosted by
  • NYU Abu Dhabi Institute

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