Call for Proposals: Centring Africa: Postcolonial Perspectives on Architecture. Canadian Centre for Architecture 

The Canadian Centre for Architecture is launching a collaborative and multidisciplinary research project on architecture’s complex developments in sub-Saharan African countries after independence. The architecture practice and discipline, along with academic institutions, archives, libraries, and museums, have been integral to what Valentin-Yves Mudimbe calls “the invention of Africa” by the West. This project therefore asks, first, how to understand architecture’s historical role in decolonization, neocolonialism, globalization, and their manifestations across the continent, at local and regional scales; and, second, how this understanding can challenge established methods and disciplinary conventions of architectural and urban studies. “Centring Africa: Postcolonial Perspectives on Architecture” seeks to contextualize such seemingly paradoxical relations as those among building and unbuilding, formal and informal, appropriated and expropriated, and modern and traditional. The project aims to question, and eventually shift, perspectives shaped by North/South knowledge divides.

The CCA solicits proposals for research projects that will address crucial but unresolved historiographical questions of architecture in postcolonial Africa, arising from the transnational, multidirectional complexities of the new world order created around the idea of the Global South in the second half of the twentieth century. This order remains shaped, in large part, by the impact on the built environment of multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, and the International Monetary Fund, of international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Development Bank, and of private philanthropic agencies such as the Ford Foundation and the Aga Khan Foundation.

The full project description and the application requirements are available here.

Application deadline: 31 October 2018

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