Rogue Urbanism is the outcome of a research exploration by the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town. It arises from the need to push forward a debate on how we can think and theorise the specificity of African cities. Its unique ambition is to produce new and relevant theoretical work on African urbanism in a way that works within the border zone between inherited theoretical resources, emergent postcolonial readings and artistic representations of everyday practices and phenomenology in African cities.

The result is a series of exchanges between scholars and artists, which showcase an ensemble of diverse perspectives through which an account of African cityness can be advanced. The art featured in Rogue Urbanism affords the reader glimpses into both the quiet moments, as well as the bustle that reveal the inner life of a community and citizens, shaping the relationships between identity and urbanity.

Through a series of textual and photographic essays by Akin Adesokin, Akintunde Akinleye, Jenny Mbaye, Matthew Barac, Namdi Elleh, Filip de Boeck, Dominique Malaquais, Mário Micalau, Elvira Dyangani Ose, AbdouMaliq Simone, Mark Swilling, Joseph Tonda, amongst many others, Rogue Urbanism seeks multiple alternatives in approaching and understanding the African city without suggesting that a comprehensive grasp is possible.

Beautifully designed and packaged, Rogue Urbanism enlarges and deepens the search for the rogue intensities that mark African cities as they find their voice and footing in a truly unwieldy world

The project was co-ordinated and co-edited by Tau Tavengwa who also worked as designer of the book

Edgar Pieterse: Grasping the unknowable: Coming to grips with African urbanisms
Matthew Barac: Place resists – Grounding African urban order in an age of global change
Dominique Malaquais & Kadiatou Diallo: Igniting SPARCK
Mark Swilling: Reconceptualising urbanism, ecology and networked infrastructure
Koen van Synghel & Filip de Boeck: Bylex’s tourist city: A reflection on Utopia in the post-political city
Mário Micalau: Photo-essay: After the revolution
Nnamdi Elleh: Perspectives on the architecture of Africa’s underprivileged urban dwellers
Tshikala K. Biaya: Les jeunes, la violence et la rue à Kinshasa. Entendre, comprendre, décrire
Orli Bass: Palimpsest African Urbanity: Connecting pre-colonial and post-apartheid urban narratives in Durban
Rana El Nemr: Photo-essay – Pararell worlds, buffer and twilight zones
Akin Adesokan: Anticipating Nollywood: Lagos circa 1996
Andréia Moassab & Patricia Anahory: A provocation for island urbanity
Sandra Roque: Cidade and Bairro: Classification, constitution and experience of urban space in Angola
AbdouMaliq Simone: Deals with imaginaries and perspectives: Reworking urban economies in Kinshasa
Jenny F. Mbaye: On the rogue practices of West African musical entrepreneurs
Joanna Grabski: Market logics – How locality and mobility make artistic livelihoods in Dakar
Lard Buurman: Photo-essay – Boom Times
Tanya Zack: Seeking logic in the chaos precinct: The spatial and property dynamics of trading space in Jeppe
Joseph Tonda: Eblouissements urbains. Images de sapeurs, d’ordures et de Brazza à Brazzaville
Mamadou Abdoul Diop: Jeunesse, culture urbaine, et citoyennete en Mauritania
Caroline Wanjiku Kihato: The city from its margins: Rethinking urban governance through the everyday lives of migrant women in Johannesburg
Christine Hentschel: Outcharming crime in (D)urban space
Akintunde Akinleye: Photo-essay – Paradox
Olawale Ismail: Public-private partnerships and urban renewal in metropolitan Lagos: The ‘good’, the ‘bad’ and the ‘ugly’
Elvira Dyangani Ose: What makes a place a city? Untimely contemporary artists and the African city
Ousmane Dembele: Abidjan ville Africaine! Hiatus entre culture locale et modernite dans la metropole Ivoirienne
Kim Gurney: Abracadabra
Kutlwano Moagi: Photo-essay – Reflections from a rusty jewel
Jay Pather: Shifting spaces, tilting time
Mokena Makeka: Thoughts on architecture, design & the emergent African city
Tau Tavengwa & Edgar Pieterse: Designing against the grain: Confronting the political economy of knowledge production
Pep Subirós: Between dystopia and hope