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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The infrastructural passions of urban mutuality
Author:Hentschel, Christine
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa (ISSN 2332-3264)
Geographic term:South Africa
urban renewal
urban planning
Abstract:The article suggests an 'infrastructural' approach to mutuality in the city. What organizes mutuality is less a matter of the common urban horizon or the grown community than of 'enabling conditions' (Calhoun) we would call infrastructures: their makeup shapes how urbanites live together, share, partake, cooperate or make deals. Concretely, the article looks at three infrastructural experiments in Durban, South Africa, in recent years, all intervening into a crisis of urban insecurity: first, the Priority Zone in downtown Durban with its passion for clean urban surfaces and with its imaginary of being itself an infrastructural creature; second, the commercial and traffic hub of Warwick Junction with its slow infrastructure of building trust, ownership and responsibility; and, third, the less place-bound instant infrastructures organizing the sharing of safety-relevant information between responsible urbanites on their way through the city. The author argues that an infrastructural inquiry into mutuality of the urban necessitates a curiosity for those infrastructures that seem chaotic, lagging, in crisis, or messy and it needs to grasp the city 'at large'. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]