a call for
Theme for spring 2014:
Moral Communities in transforming African cities
n the spring of 2014, the Nordic Africa Institute
places particular emphasis on ongoing political,
social and moral upheavals in African cities. The
theme Moral communities in transforming African cities
is about how people build their future together in rapidly
changing urban environments. It is also about those who
tear down old walls, and those who create new ones.
When hundreds of thousands of demonstrators forced
Egyptian President Mubarak to step down in early 2011,
people were united by feelings of hope. The usual fear of
government seemed to have vanished. After Mubarak’s
fall, however, optimism soon gave way to frustration,
confusion and anger.
South Africa and Nigeria are striking examples of in-
Erik and Ulrika Trovalla: The impact
of imperfect infrastructure on the
contours of everyday lives.
creasing economic strength and confidence in Africa. Yet
on other levels, they have not lived up to the expectations
of their people. Today’s South Africa is shaped by a deep
economic divide, unemployment and fear of crime. The
equality people were hoping for when the apartheid
system was dismantled 20 years ago is still a distant
For its part, the Nigerian city of Jos has for over a
decade been plagued by ethnic and religious tension.
Fear and suspicion have come between its citizens, and
former neighbours are now separated.
Yet for all these divisions and frustrations, there are
those who still have hope and seek to build community.
All of these strands are examined in the spring of 2014.
Marianne Millstein: Urban policies,
citizens’ everyday experience and
the struggle to carve out a place in
deeply divided cities.
Mats Utas, Anders Themnér, Ilmari Käihkö:
Ex-commanders’ networks in Liberia: How
are they sustained and can they be a tool for
promoting peace and development?
sierra leone
liberia ghana
Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs, Jesper Bjarnesen, Mats Utas:
How does election-related violence affect democratic legitimacy?
Theme-related NAI projects
Ulrika Trovalla: The aftermath of ethnic
and religious violence in the emergent
city of Jos, Nigeria 2001-2014.
dr congo
Annika Teppo: Urban communities:
Boundaries and transformations in
the post-apartheid city.
Maria Eriksson Baaz and
Judith Verweijen:
The impact of security
staff supplementary
incomes (illicit taxes and
protection fees, etc.) on
civilians in the DRC.
Kjell Havnevik, Linda Engström, Atakilte
Beyene, Opira Otto and Terje Oestigaard:
Imposed large scale land acquisitions, foreign
investments and free market liberalism in local
communities based on customary laws and
social values.
Maria Malmström: How do people understand and
respond to events in Egypt in the aftermath of the 2011
uprisings and in today’s periods of instability? The
particular focus is materiality and affective politics.
Photo: Sven Torfinn/Panos Pictures/Felix Features
Terje Oestigaard: The disappearance of traditional
practices and beliefs in the face of modernisation
and globalization in relation to the spread of both
Christianity and new forms of witchcraft.
Cape Town, South Africa.
Welcome to NAI’s theme-related lectures for spring 2014, featuring guest lecturers of international repute.
February 26
charlotte lemanski
Who decides what is
´(im)moral´ in a highly
unequal African urban
context in a culturally
differentiated society? In
focus are two case studies
from Cape Town, South
April 9
mattia fumanti
This lecture shows how
towns in Namibia and
their inhabitants are
interwoven. It will
explore social stratification, differentiation
and the making of moral
public spaces in African
secondary cities.
April 23
jane parish
Drawing on her expertise
on Akan witchcraft
among Ghanaian
diaspora communities
in the UK, Paris and
New York, Dr Parish will
probe the interaction
between movie stars,
Detroit automobiles and
African spirit shrines in
New York City.
May 14
filip de boeck
How do urban
populations make sense
of their worlds and devise cultural strategies to
cope with the ongoing
breakdown of urban infrastructure? This lecture
will examine social and
cultural imaginaries in
June 4
elaine salo
Who is a moral person,
and what is needed
to become one? The
lecture will draw on the
author’s ethnographic
study of gender, race
and community in the
townships of the Cape
Flats, Cape Town, South
venue: The Nordic Africa Institute, Villavägen 6, Uppsala
time: 15.15-17.00 for all lectures. Pre-registration is required two days before the lecture. Kindly email your pre-registration to:
[email protected] On the subject line, please write ’pre-registration’.
For more updated information, visit
Telephone: +46 (0)18 471 52 00
Fax: +46 (0)18 56 22 90
E-mail: [email protected]
Visitor’s address: Villavägen 6, 752 36 Uppsala
Postal address: The Nordic Africa Institute, Box 1703,
SE-751 47 Uppsala
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The Nordic Africa Institute is a research centre on
contemporary Africa with a special focus on the social
sciences. It is jointly financed by the Nordic countries.