lagos koolhaas

Barnard – Columbia

Architectural Imperialism in Lagos. The Image of the African CitySpeaking

International Conference “2016 Lagos: From the Pepperfarm to the Megacity (and Beyond),” Barnard College – Columbia University, New York (USA), May 6-7 2016

About the Conference

Talk of cities is everywhere in African Studies and talk of African Cities is everywhere beyond the field. Thinking through African Cities has produced critical reappraisals of how concepts such as urbanism, globalization, citizenship, migration, infrastructure, flexibility, history and futurity can be more productively thought to capture current, imminent, and historical realities. The city increasingly appears to compete with the nation-state as the key spatial category of analysis for Africanist social theorists.

From Casablanca to Capetown, from Kinshasa to Mogadishu, and from Lagos to Luanda, Africa is dotted with cities that constitute political, economic, social, and intellectual alternatives to the nation, while being situated within it. Perennial challenges to nation-states in Africa and beyond, combined with the spectacular growth of cities on the continent and the global south more broadly, have prompted some to suggest that we may be witnessing the rise/return of the city-state as the key structuring formation of the new global order, and thus the key structure of concern for theorists of the social world.

With these issues in mind, we are planning an interdisciplinary conference on the city of Lagos to be held at Barnard College in New York City. This conference, LAGOS: From the Pepperfarm to the Megacity (and Beyond), will consider the question of the rise/return of the city-state through the pasts, presents, and speculative futures of Lagos.

For more information see the Barnard College website and the Conference website.

This activity was part of Afrobridge, a research supported by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme