Dans le cadre du séminaire DALVAA, Anna Baral (Uppsala University, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology) présentera ses travaux le 7 avril 2016 à 14h dans la salle 864, bâtiment Olympe de Gouges, Université Paris Diderot.
“Good Life, Bad Guys: urban planning in downtown Kampala”
Uppsala University, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
Scholarship and media discourse on informality often focus on conflict and resistance at the interface between urban planning and the workers’ claims. A case in point is the discussion around Kisekka, one of the biggest markets in Kampala, renowned for a number of violent outbreaks triggered by the uneasy relationship between workers, market’s management and municipal institutions.
Kisekka’s workers are described as “bad guys” (bayaaye in the Luganda language) for being idle, restless and engaged in illicit and antagonistic practices. A moralizing narrative inspired by neoliberal ideals of the city as productive, clean and rational frames Kisekka as dystopian on the urban map. Police, the army and municipal agents continuously intervene to impose order and control on the site.
While much has been written on Kisekka riots, little has been done to understand what urban conflict actually means for the actors involved. The presentation looks beyond sensational resistance and investigates the workers’ everyday life as they coped with the disruptive consequence of the market’s demolition, occurred in December 2014. Urban planning is taken as a moral discourse, which stems from, and in turn reinforces, the negative perception of informality as a social and economic blemish. The workers’ reactions and their struggle for a “good life” in the face of urban change will be described through ethnographic examples.