At the end of October, Dr Jonathan Silver travelled to Germany where he taught a class at Kassel University’s ‘Disordering African cities’ research group before attending the ‘Inhabiting the Corridor’ workshop at the Max Plank Institute in Gottingen. Organised by Leonie Newhouse and AbdouMaliq Simone, the workshop brought together two dozen scholars from a variety of disciplines to explore the contours of transformation in the East African corridor, as it becomes one of the world’s new epicentres for investment in resource extraction, corporate agriculture and infrastructure development. These investments signal not only a re-writing of the city, but of the relations that connect urban life to its material, social and imaginary hinterlands. Over the course of the three days, provocations were made and new ideas and orientations concerning the corridor emerged that challenged how regional geographies of investment and infrastructure, urbanisation and movement are understood.
Photo – Dar es Salaam, a major port on the Indian Ocean (Credit: Jonathan Silver)