On African Urbanism(s): Architecture and Urban Symbology

Architecture and Urban Symbology

On African Urbanism(s): Session 2  with Sandrine Colard and Tau Tavengwa 

Postponed until Fall 2020

This session will examine African architecture from the past and present to understand how these physical and material interventions are the product of political moments and representations of economic and political futures. What does the (Western) origins of architecture mean in the early post-independence period? How does one reconcile this with the liberation moment that sought to define African futures? How have these spaces actually been used or appropriated? Finally, what reflections from this past can be revealed in the contemporary period of speculative urbanism, the expansion of Eastern influences, and the use architecture in shaping urban morphology and identity?

Sandrine Colard is Assistant Professor of African Art History. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University, and a M.A. in Africana Studies from New York University. Prior to joining Rutgers-Newark, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art  (INHA, Paris, France) and a Provost Post-doctoral Fellow at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Dr. Colard is a historian of modern and contemporary African arts and photography, with a focus on Central Africa. Her scholarly interests include post-colonialism in the arts,  portraiture, vernacular photograph, the representation of gender and domesticity, and the globalization of the contemporary art scene. Recently, she was the artistic director of the 6th  Lubumbashi Biennale in 2019. Her current book project, based on research conducted in Belgium, Kinshasa and Lubumbashi (DRC), examines the history of photography in the colonial Congo (1885-1960).

Tau Tavengwa is the founder and co-editor of Cityscapes Magazine  a biannual print magazine focused on exploring and understanding cities in Africa; Latin America and South Asia from the perspective of the wide array of actors that include academics, policymakers, artists, photographers, architects, and activists who work in and have an on-the-ground understanding of the many urbanisms of these regions. He is a 2018 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. In addition to being an LSE Cities Associate at the London School of Economics. Tavengwa is also Curator-at-Large at African Centre for Cities at University of Cape Town. Tau has a background in architecture and museum design; art & architecture publishing. 

This series is kindly co-sponsored by the Program in African Studies.