By Edgar Pieterse & Ntone Edjabe
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Additional resources for African Cities Reader
Even in the everyday cognition of this kind of density, visibility and invisibility are dayto-day matters. FdeB: But you also need to be invisible or to know how to disappear and reappear at a good time. AMS: Timeliness. FdeB: Time is very important. AMS: The calculations of acting in a timely matter… FdeB: That’s why everybody also seems to be waiting all of the time, I think. AMS: Given the sort of big-man or big-woman syndrome, particularly in a place like Lagos, you need a protector, you need a patron, you need someone you can have recourse to, you can appeal to, who can arbitrate, who can make a decision so that you don’t have to: “Okay, I know the one that I appeal to, that I regard, that I owe, that I depend on .
Without the assistance of trusted Kinois friends, these sessions would not be possible. From the very beginning, these friends too have been documenting the sape phenomenon and producing a body of photographic images about it. In the first photo exhibit of the sape project held outside the DRC – in Bern – their photos and mine appeared alongside one another. At the centre of it all – fundamental to the entirety of this project – are the guidance, gaze and generosity of Dicoco Boketshu, a musician, video and performance artist based in Kin, and Djanga Weni, also a musician (both men are members of Trionyx, a band founded by Kinois composer, performer and educator Bebson de la Rue).
Or who defined what the capital is, and who has access to it? In Dakar, it was merely a discussion of where should it be. In Congo, the colonial city really emerged as a non-place. It was defined as a “center extra-coutumier,” that is, the city placed itself right from the start outside of all locally existing cultural, social, and political frameworks. In the postcolonial period, Kinshasa became a major political center. But in recent years, even that role has slightly changed. In the late 1990s we saw how regional players (Rwanda, among others) tried hard to make the capital move eastward, away from a Francophone sphere of influence.
African Cities Reader by Edgar Pieterse & Ntone Edjabe