Re-Imagining African Cities. The Arts and Urban Politics

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Thematic Focus:
Knowledge Production and Transfer, Open Topic
Involved Countries:
Switzerland, Ghana

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The workshop ‘Re-Imagining the African City: The Arts and Urban Politics’ invites established and junior scholars from Africa, the USA, the Middle East and Europe to spend two days of intense research exchange about their individual research and with regard to future collaborative projects and trajectories to strengthen this rather young but highly relevant field of urban research. Together with Ms. Awo Sarpong, Mr. De-Valera Botchway submitted their presentation ‘Ragtag Wars:Children’s Fancy Dress Parades as a Carnivalesque Suspension of Adultism in the Historical City of Winneba, Ghana’.

The visibility of current work on the relationship of art and the city in Africa is largely centred on publications and conferences taking place in the Western hemisphere and conducted by predominantly European and American scholars. However, also in the African cities themselves, scholarship is growing especially amongst young researchers. The workshop offers qualified researchers an opportunity to present their work and establish contacts with experts from other regions, amongst them the members of the SNF research project. As a further result of the workshop, a special issue is envisaged in a top journal on African arts where a selection of the presented papers are published.

The workshop is related to the  SNF funded research project ‘Art/Articulation: Art and the Formation of Social Space in African Cities’ (Project lead: Till Förster, coordination: Fiona Siegenthaler) that looks at the social role art, artists and art practices play in four different cities in East and West Africa (Bamako, Korhogo, Kampala and Kisumu). As a cooperation with the newly established Institute for Urban and Landscape Studies at the University of Basel, the workshop contributes to establishing and strengthening a research network between Universities and cities in Africa, Base land beyond.

Till Förster, University of Basel
De-Valera Nana Yaw Botchway, University of Cape Coast, Ghana