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Drawing white elephants in Africa? Re-contextualizing Ernst May’s Kampala plans in relation to the fraught political realities of late-colonial rule
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2019 (English)In: Planning Perspectives, ISSN 0266-5433, E-ISSN 1466-4518, Vol. 34, no 4, p. 643-666Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 1945/1946, the Colonial Administration in Uganda commissioned Ernst May – planner of Das Neue Frankfurt (1926–1930) – to design the Kampala Extension Scheme and the smaller Wandegeya Development Scheme. The past decade has seen increasing scholarly interest in the neglected ‘African’ episode of Mays planning oeuvre, but this literature has not explicitly examined how May’s planning articulated with the fraught political realities of late-colonial rule. Utilizing previously undocumented archive material and a theoretical frame informed by governmentality studies, this paper examines these articulations, particularly those relating to tensions and contradictions in Colonial government arising from the would-be turning-point from indirect rule to a bio-political rationality of development and welfare. It is shown that while May’s submitted plans spoke directly to the tropes of urban improvement, African detribalization and labour stabilization, which informed the ‘turning point’ in colonial policy, May’s elaborate socio-spatial interventions and the style in which these enunciated racial difference proved unpalatable to a colonial administration stifled by the rationality of the economic domain of government, by constraints on how difference could be enunciated and by African urban politics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 34, no 4, p. 643-666
Keywords [en]
Ernst May, governmentality, colonial urban planning, Kampala
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160962DOI: 10.1080/02665433.2018.1425635ISI: 000474334500005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-160962DiVA, id: diva2:1255562
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2018-10-12 Created: 2018-10-12 Last updated: 2019-08-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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