Research Repository

Enclaving: Spatial Detachment as an Aesthetics of Imagination in an urban sub-Saharan African context

Nielsen, Morten and Sumich, Jason and Bertelsen, Bjørn Enge (2021) 'Enclaving: Spatial Detachment as an Aesthetics of Imagination in an urban sub-Saharan African context.' Urban Studies (5). pp. 881-902. ISSN 0042-0980

Nielsen, Sumich & Bertelsen - Enclaving 08.01.20 (clean) (1).pdf - Accepted Version

Download (258kB) | Preview


While detachment and separation continue to be central to urban development across the globe, in several sub-Saharan African cities it has acquired a particular form of acute social and political efficacy. In many European and American cities, the making of fortified enclosures is considered as an effect of an endemic fear of societal dissolution and a growing number of sub-Saharan African cities are, seemingly, affected by a similar socio-political and economic dynamic. However, in sub-Saharan Africa the spatial lines of separation that isolate the affluent few from surrounding urban spaces follow both a much wider and less coordinated meshwork of social divisions and political fissures and draws on a deeper socio-cultural, economic and historical repertoire. In this article we trace the contours of enclaving as a critical urban driver, which is rapidly changing the social and physical fabric of cities across the sub-Saharan continent. Rather than considering enclaving simply as a physical manifestation of dominance and privilege, however, we consider it as an ‘aesthetics of imagination’ that migrates through the cities and thereby weaves together otherwise dissimilar and distinct social practices, spaces and political desires and economic aspirations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: aesthetics of imagination; enclaving; Maputo; migrating spaces; Mozambique; sub-Saharan Africa; urban development; urban theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2020 10:27
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2022 13:42

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item