Is increasingly wealthy Africans. One quick positive and negative question: will this new demand be coupled with a revivalism of African interest in religions and cultures that were persecuted under Christian colonialism? What kind of strains will it put on the already poorly monitored and regulated art market in Africa?

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Image source  (Photograph: Olivier Laban-Mattei/AFP/Getty)

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A brief interview with Andrew Esiebo about his latest photography project:  West African barbershops, one of the most consistent and ubiquitous forms of architecture and public art in African cities.

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Image source (photograph:  Andrew Esiebo)

Part II of Brett Petzer’s article on 10 African future cities. Below is an image of Angola’s Cidade de Kilamba, a Chinese funded middle class housing project 30km from Luanda for 200k people, currently sitting mostly empty as potential buyers struggle to obtain financing.

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550 million of the world’s 1 billion without power live in Africa. President Obama has started a “Power Africa” initiative to provide 10 gigawatts of power at a cost of 7 billion dollars…but Africa currently needs 330 gigawatts with population growth expected to explode over the next half center. How will Africa’s new cities be powered?Image

Image source (photograph:  Peter DiCampo)

Horrifying article, image, and statistic:  Africa has 2 percent of the world’s registered vehicles…but 16 percent of the world’s traffic related deaths. And even to begin addressing this??–road infrastructure, behind the wheel training, highway patrolling, breathalyzer testing, helmets, working seat belts, vehicle maintenance and inspection are all grossly lacking. I think I’d rather be stuck in a day long traffic jam in Lagos than speeding through the Kenyan countryside.

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Image source (photograph:  Dai Kurokawa/European Pressphoto Agency)

When the old isn’t working or is just too cumbersome to overhaul….simply build a brand new city from scratch! At least that’s what these projects intend to do. Most of these future cities are in the initial/early periods of funding/construction but they will be fascinating to follow as they begin opening for business. They’re all located next to some of the continent’s largest decaying/overcrowded urban areas–what will become of those when these glitzy new international business orientated centers are fully functional? I can imagine a mass rush of people pouring towards the promises of these new cities (if only as day commuters since they’ll likely be exorbitantly expensive places to live like Victoria Island in Lagos in currently), abandoning the rusting infrastructure and informally organized cities just miles away. Will there be an influx control mechanism built into these new centers? A passcard system? We know how well planned capitals like Dodoma and Abuja have played out in Africa; will an urban area backed by international corporate investment lead to different results? Part two coming soon.  Eko Atlantic project constructed on man-made sandbar in the harbor of Lagos:

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is expected to top 1.3B by 2030. What does the soon to follow increase of corporate spurred consumerism mean for urban Africa? A sense of being connected to global culture trends and ideas through fashion and design? Or the kind of rampant consumerism that leads to violence and even murder over a pair of shoes? It’s not difficult to imagine either scenario. Speaking of fasion, the Nigerian government seems to think a tax id number can be made fashionable based on this ad that popped up beside the article (and based on this article in the Atlantic, the Mayor of Lagos seems to be having massive success in boosting tax revenue, having already raised monthly revenue from $4 million to $101 million):

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Ian McIntosh is examining 12th C. coins that appear to have originated in Kilwa and ended up in AustraliaImage

Image source (photograph:  Powerhouse Museum Sydney)

Museum of African Art mulling adding policy center to its initiative

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Great slideshow of a historic city that has been dark to the outside world for almost two decades. 

 

 

….And a Tedx event just took place in Mogadishu, which included the story of Mogadishu’s first drying cleaning business

 

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I like to try to guess where each instagram is from before reading the captionImage

Link to Everyday Africa’s Instagram page

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Nyere’s utopian capital that was never fully realized

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Would this work in Lagos? Is that question a luxury for marginal residents of Lagos?

Image source (Photograph:  Kunlé Adeyemi)

powerful images from Gulu, Uganda

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Image source  (Photograph:  Gulu Real Art Studio)

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Incredible photos of Lagos youth and Niger’s oil blackmarket. Blogged about in the New York Times.

Image source (Photograph:  Samuel James)

 

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“Monumentalizing Africa’s Momentous Decade:  Building Monuments and a Nation in Uganda”

https://markduerksen.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/duerksen_pst_thesis_2012_final4.pdf

The conclusion published here in the START Journal of Art and Culture:

http://startjournal.org/2012/08/uganda%E2%80%99s-independence-monuments-at-50/