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Seminar — Brenda Chalfin's new book Waste Works: Vital Politics in Urban Ghana examines the politics of infrastructure production and failure in Ghana’s planned city of Tema.
Date & Time:
Room 8B-1-14, South Campus, University of Copenhagen
The Centre of African Studies, Copenhagen University
Brenda Chalfin’s new book Waste Works: Vital Politics in Urban Ghana examines the politics of infrastructure production and failure in Ghana’s planned city of Tema. Focusing on urban sewage and sanitation, Chalfin traces sanitary infrastructural repair, rebuilding and reinvention in this mid-century city built through the combined efforts of President Kwame Nkrumah and renowned Greek urbanist Constantinos Doxiadis. Using everyday urban practice to rework the theoretical insights of Latour, Laporte and Arendt, the book demonstrates that taking excrement out of the private realm and grip of the state unlocks unexpected arenas of public life and new configurations of domesticity, ultimately challenging the high modernist straitjacket that insists shit must disappear.
The lecture will be given by Brenda Chalfin, professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida and visiting faculty member at Aarhus University’s Global Studies department. She will share her book’s core findings and the backstory of her research and publication.