African Modernism and Its Afterlives (Book)

Brings together research by Africanist anthropologists and architectural historians who share in the pursuit of an archaeology of modernist architecture in Africa. Case studies connect the colonial and postcolonial origins of modernist architecture, the historical processes, and present use and habitation. 132 b/w and 35 col. photographs.

Edition

Paul Wenzel Geissler teaches social anthropology at the University of Oslo. With Lachenal, Manton, Tousignant and other scholars and artists he published Traces of the Future (2016). With Ruth Prince, he is currently studying remains and afterlives of epidemics in East Africa, revisiting their book on AIDS in Kenya, The Land Is Dying (2010).

Nina Berre is an architect and architectural historian, and Professor and Head of Institute of Form, theory and history at the Oslo School of Architecture and design. She was director of Architecture at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and design in Norway from 2010 to 2018.

Johan Lagae is Full Professor in 20th Century Architectural History at Ghent University. His research focuses on colonial and postcolonial architecture and urbanisation in Central-Africa.

List of Figures

Introduction    Recognizing African Modernisms

Paul Wenzel Geissler, Johan Lagae and Nina Berre

PART 1:    AFRICAN MODERNISM

  1. Karl Henrik Nøstvik: Remnants of Nordic Aid

Nina Berre

  1. Africa’s ‘Lone Star’: Building ‘New Liberia’ in the Context of Post-war Africa

Iga Perzyna

  1. Countryside Reconstruction in Postcolonial Africa: The Ujamaa Experience

Karl Otto Ellefsen

  1. Technocratic Colonial Housing Policies and Reductive Modernism in Eastlands, Nairobi

Peter Makachia

  1. Transnational Exchanges in Postcolonial Zambia: School Buildings at the Intersection of Architectural, Political and Economic Globalization

Kim De Raedt

  1. Forms of Freedom: Soviet Gifts in Postcolonial Kenya

Ruth Prince

  1. Georg Lippsmeier and His Tropenbau: Salesmanship and Pragmatic Modernism

Antoni Folkers

  1. Israel/Africa: The Laboratories of (Post)colonial Modernity

Haim Yacobi

  1. ‘Tout le Congo est un Chantier’: Notes on the Archive of a (Post)colonial Construction Firm

Johan Lagae and Robby Fivez

INTERLUDE

            Remnants of Nordic Aid in Africa: The Zambia World Bank Educational Projects

Mette Tronvoll

            Remnants of Nordic Aid in Africa: The KICC & Fishery Station by Architect Karl Henrik Nøstvik in Africa

Iwan Baan

PART 2:    AFTERLIVES

  1. ‘Kenya Grew from Here’: Property and History in a Nairobi Housing Estate

Constance Smith

  1. Grave Reservations: Nigerian Literature and ‘European Reservations’ during Decolonization

Tim Livsey

  1. The Legacy of Nordic Expertise in Postcolonial Housing Schemes in Nairobi

Tom J. C. Anyamba

  1. Privatization and the Reshaping of the Recreational Landscape of the Industrial Zambian Copperbelt

Patience Mususa

  1. The Ruins of Turkana: An Archaeology of Failed Development in Northern Kenya

Samuel F. Derbyshire and Lucas Lowasa

  1. The Brand New Ruins of Public Health: A Tale of Two Buildings, Kinshasa, DRC

Guillaume Lachenal

  1. ‘Is This Anthropology Really a Modern Subject?’: Kenyan Students’ Experience of Nairobi’s (Changing) University Architectures

Ida Skjong Grøvik

  1. Laboratory Unbuilt: An Architectural Biography of Postcolonial Science in East Africa

Paul Wenzel Geissler

Epilogue          Buildings and People: Interdisciplinarity, Juxtaposition and Experimentation

Paul Wenzel Geissler and Johan Lagae

Notes on Contributors


 

'Tracing concrete connections between architecture and anthropology, African Modernism and Its Afterlives offers glimpses of past futures, half-remembered dreams and enduring structures. Engaging and ever clear-eyed, its chapters provide a trenchant guide to 20th century efforts to alter African social life through building, along with the artefacts they left behind.'
Peter Redfield, University of Southern California

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