How might we conceptualise and research everyday urbanism? This is the question Jonathan Silver from the Urban Institute along with Colin McFarlane at Durham University have responded to in a new paper in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers based on work in Kampala, Uganda.
In the paper based on six months ethnographic work in Namuwongo, an informal settlement in the Kampala they argue that a dialectics of everyday urbanism is a useful approach for understanding urban poverty. This dialectical approach examines how marginalised urban dwellers navigate the city in the relative absence of formal infrastructure systems, service provision and state welfare, and in turn exceed those limitations through forging connections, capacities and opportunities.
As part of the research an exhibition was organised in June 2015 entitled ‘Celebrating Namuwongo’, at the Uganda Museum in which over a hundred residents attended the opening night and visitors from Uganda and beyond visited over the month it was open.