By Edgar Pieterse & Ntone Edjabe
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In some ways, the desire for the legalistic divide wasn’t a desire to cut off contact but, quite on the contrary, to maintain a sense of a certain kind of integrity. African Cities Reader 37 Urbanism beyond Architecture: African Cities as Infrastructure Vyjayanthi Rao, in conversation with Filip de Boeck & Abdou Maliq Simone VR: It seems that there is an interesting contradiction here with laws in the municipal, urban planning sense, and these other understandings of law, which don’t quite territorialize in the same way, which are universal at some level.
But then as other people are showing up, how do you not insist upon your agenda? How don’t you dominate this space, this scene, but how do you become visible and almost disappear in the face of others who are also there, in some sense, for the same agenda? Because this was largely a Hausa neighborhood within a Yoruba city - or a Muslim place, West African Muslim place - it wasn’t that there weren’t visible associations and visible rules and visible representatives of the emir and his business interests.
For it seems fairly clear that these images – of Kinois sapeurs in effect highjacking the high-luxe of places that think so well of themselves – are not images that these places are particularly keen to showcase. In France, the reactions I have met are often problematic: people like what they see because they think that what they are looking at are grunge fashions shots, cool because funky and/or trashy … not a “take” I find interesting or have too much patience with. Then again, I suppose, I must take into account the fact that different people will see the photos in different ways depending on where they encounter them.