Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities

Programme Type: Publishing Programme: Applied Urban Research
Publlisher: ACC & Jacana Media Publication Date: 2013 ISBN: 978-1-4314-0623-4

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


  • 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