Explore how we might achieve social equity and new urban forms in our cities by starting with creative expression, individual and community aspirations, and meaningful participation processes
In recent decades, one can’t fail to notice the spread of sustainable development efforts in African cities. Yet, there has been relative unease and growing dissatisfaction with development processes and outcomes. A critical issue relates to “representation” which is argued to be intrinsically shaped by our positioning (gendered, institutional, socioeconomic, historical etc). Between myriads of presentations and representations, voices of individuals and/or communities are often misrepresented or often ignored. The result is inequitable development in African cities as the perpetual struggle in how to approach issues African cities deal with fails to comprehend the root causes partly due to the inadequate involvement of various voices and identities into development processes. To achieve sustainable African cities, it is imperative to ask critical questions. How do we ensure representations that are truly African; that speak to multi-layered individual and collective aspirations of our diverse urban populace? What role can art play in shaping and directing attention to issues of identity, culture, lifestyles, aspirations in our quest for development? Who are the influencers who can shape new movements for African urban sustainability? The session aims to highlight various voices from the creative sphere and how they can or are contributing to shaping and owning urban African narratives using media, literature, photography and artistic expressions.