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Architecture and politics in Africa - making, living and imagining identities through buildings

Date: 16 September 2020
Time: 10am - 5pm

Our webinar, ‘Architecture and Politics in Africa: making, living and imagining identities through buildings’, takes place on Wednesday 16 September. There are three panels, featuring 10 papers, on aspects of the politics of architecture in Africa.

We invite anyone who is interested to join us online, for one session or for the whole day. The event is free and open to all. All that’s needed is that you register via the this link.

This event has been organised jointly between ASA and the BISA Africa/IR group.


Panel one: Making 10.00-12.00

  • 1. Grounding Africa’s international relations: global ambitions and airport expansion in Ethiopia, Joanne Tomkinson, SOAS, UK & Dawit Yekoyesew, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

  • 2. Building heaven on earth: rhetoric and ritual in the politics of Ghana’s national cathedral, Emmanuel Kusi Ofori-Sarpong, Central University, Ghana

  • 3. ‘Made by China’: the strains of sovereignty in Malawi’s Chinese funded Parliament,Innocent Batsani Ncube, SOAS, UK

Panel two: Living 13.00-15.00

  • 4. New homes for a new state: foreign ideas in Ghana’s public housing programmes, Irene Appeaning Addo, University of Ghana

  • 5. What society makes of the state: reading Cote d’Ivoire’s public architecture, Julia Gallagher, SOAS, UK & Ariane Ndjore, Félix Houphouët-Boigny University, Cote d’Ivoire

  • 6. Colonial legacies, race and shopping: aspiration and division in a Zimbabwean mall, Tonderai Koschke, University of Munich

  • 7. Public spaces, public goods?: reinventing Nairobi’s public libraries, Marie Gibert, independent scholar, Kenya

Panel three: Imagining 15.30-17.30

  • 8. Pan-African imaginations: popular imagery and the African Union building in Ethiopia, Daniel Mulugeta, SOAS, UK

  • 9. Reimagining pre-colonial tradition: the reconstruction of an Asante palace, Tony Yeboah, Yale University, US

  • 10. From prison to freedom: overwriting Nigeria’s colonial past, Laura Routley, Newcastle University, UK

The project receives funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 772070).

You can attend as many or few panels as you are able. Registration will close two hours before the event begins. Click here to register.

Contact email:


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