A Town on Its Knees?: Economic experimentations with postcolonial Urban politics in Africa and Southeast Asia

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At best, Fanon had an ambivalent attitude toward the potentialities of African cities. As largely colonial creations, they were never viewed as the ‘real’ locus for an elaboration of a critical national consciousness or political project. Yet now that Africa is an ‘urban continent’, with cities moving in disparate directions through various broken infrastructures and temporalities, urbanization conveys both a desire for collective capacities that would seem to exceed both the terms of colonial residues and Fanon’s revolutionary projections, yet simultaneously to reiterate the fundamental tensions in their relationship. The very practices that would seem to waste political mobilization may be those which defer a definitive foreclosure of them. While African cities remain exemplars of the region’s captivation with redesigned imperialisms, they are generative of the potentials Fanon identified but assumed would never come from them.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Fanon
  • postcoloniality
  • subaltern
  • third world
  • urban development
  • urbanism
  • way of life

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  • Abdou Maliq Simone

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