The book focuses on contemporary African cities, caught in the contradiction of an imperial past and postcolonial present. The essays explore the cultural role of colonial architecture and urbanism in the production of meanings: in the inscription of power and discipline, as well as in the dynamic construction of identities. It is in these new dense urban spaces, with all their contradictions, that urban Africans are reworking their local identities, building families, and creating autonomous communities – made fragile by neo-liberal states in a globalizing world.
The book offers a range of scholarly interpretations of the new forms of urbanity. It engages with issues, themes and topics including colonial legacies, postcolonial intersections, cosmopolitan spaces, urban reconfigurations, and migration which are at the heart of the continuing debate about the trajectory of contemporary African cities. The collection discusses contemporary African cities as diverse as Dar Es Salaam, Dakar, Johannesburg, Lagos and Kinshasa – offering new insights into the current state of postcolonial African cities.
This was previously published as a special issue of African Identities.