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The Politics of Architecture in Africa - Workshop, Paper Presentations, Exhibition

The Politics of Architecture in Africa

Workshop, Paper Presentations, Exhibition

1-8 December 2019.

The Politics of Architecture in Africa Workshop will be held from 1 to 8 December 2019 at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS). The weeklong workshop is organised in collaboration with JIAS, the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg and Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS University of London.

The weeklong cross-disciplinary discussion will bring scholars working on politics and architecture across Africa using variety of examples and perspectives. The workshop will exploit the rich potential architecture offers to the study of politics across Africa.

Why the ‘politics’ of architecture?

Architecture is possibly the most political of all the arts. Particularly within a civic and public sense, it usually requires large capital investment and is thus predominantly commissioned by political and cultural elites. Architecture defines the landscapes of our daily activities, giving a face to our political institutions, and measuring out the quality of our facilities, services and houses. More than any other art, it is linked to the material realm of politics, illustrating and shaping wealth distribution and access to power. But it also carries collective symbolic meaning, defining the public sphere, embodying history, mediating, narrating and shaping collective experience.

Public Lecture titled ‘Nation Building: a Cloudy View of the Past’ will be delivered by Prof Lokko in conversation with Prof Gallagher and Prof Antonio Tomas (GSA), and will be moderated by Dr. Huda Tayob (GSA). The keynote conversation will be followed by a reception. The public lecture is free and open to the public.



Sunday, 1 December

Workshop Dinner (closed event) Lucky Bean Restaurant, Melville


Monday, 2 December

Introduction & Group Activity (closed event)

JIAS, Auckland Park


Tuesday, 3 December

Group Discussions (closed event) JIAS, Auckland Park

Public Lecture – Nation Building: a Cloudy View of the Past (Open to the members of the public)

Opening Reception FADA Auditorium, University of Johannesburg, Bunting Road Campus

* This event is free and open to the public. Secure parking provided in the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA) parking lot, opposite the Gas Works on Annet/Bunting.


Wednesday, 4 December

Group Discussion (closed event) JIAS, Auckland Park


Thursday, 5 December

Group Discussion, (closed event)

JIAS Auckland Park


Friday, 6 December

Paper Presentations (closed event) GSA Metro, Braamfontein Closing Reception & Exhibition Opening GSA Metro, Brammfontein



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