African Cities Reader by Edgar Pieterse & Ntone Edjabe

By Edgar Pieterse & Ntone Edjabe

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It was all done through these quotidian practices of having sites that apparently didn’t sell much of anything but were places of reception. There’s a way of managing an economy of visibility and invisibility, where the two had to be brought together in some kind of functional calibration and recalibrated all of the time. African Cities Reader 36 Urbanism beyond Architecture: African Cities as Infrastructure Vyjayanthi Rao, in conversation with Filip de Boeck & Abdou Maliq Simone Within the larger scope of Lagos, given the fact that there are usually eight people to a room, always in very dense quarters, how can you keep something to yourself?

A six-hour flight from New York - there’s something about that. FdeB: Are you saying this, or is this way this has been perceived? AMS: On the street in Dakar, there’s this kind of talk, you know? FdeB: Like we’re in the middle of AMS: All I’m saying is that when you look at the relationship between capital and the capital city, the kind of project of centralizing, the kind of expression of the capital, of the national cohesion VR: The way I’m hearing it is that there’s some relationship between being aligned to these other sorts of flows - from Dubai or elsewhere - on the one hand, and to the regeneration of the city, of the nation on the other hand, which cannot any longer be expressed without this alignment?

So it is just a complicated kind of elaboration of a social etiquette in a way, a kind of business practice that had to keep channels of information open, had to not keep secrets, but had to have an informational economy where you minimized competition. It was all done through these quotidian practices of having sites that apparently didn’t sell much of anything but were places of reception. There’s a way of managing an economy of visibility and invisibility, where the two had to be brought together in some kind of functional calibration and recalibrated all of the time.

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