THE CITY OF EMBELISHED BLEMISHES
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        As a Black/African feminist geographer who is interested in cities, Afro-futurism and Black futurity, I spend a lot of my time thinking about what African cities can look like. Specifically, I challenge urban Afropolitan Imagineering projects that engage with familiar orientations (Ahmed 2006) of Euro-patriarchal capitalism. As such, I get excited when I see things like the market scenery in the movie Black Panther and some of Architect Olalekan Jeyifuous’s work. These are examples that disinherit the familiarity of Eurocentric geographic determinism – because they do not look like the “urban” that is imagined/promoted by development.

I am really interested in contributing to disembodied territories because when I read the call, it brought to mind my experience of a talk where I showed pictures of Jeyifuous’s work to practically a sea of white faces. There is one particular look of disgust that remains indelible in my mind. Many were mostly aghast that I called the drawings beautiful.  I was focused on the possibility of an urban future, one that did not normalize “overdevelopment, accumulation, and … [consumption] as identifiable–seeable locales of emancipation”.  (McKittrick 2011:950). They probably wanted to see a particular aesthetic. I denied them this. My proposed contribution will take the form of story-telling, real and imagined, that flirts with the idea of an otherwise African urban future.




Grace Adeniyi-Ogunyankin is an Assistant Professor at Queen's University with the Departments of Geography and Planning and Gender Studies.  She is a feminist scholar who is interested in African urban futures and Black futurity. Her current research involves a comparative study of the impact of contemporary urban transformations on African youth identity, labour practices, psychosocial well-being and future orientation. She also has a research focus on popular culture, both on the continent and in the diaspora, that explores the issues of subjectivity and belonging and the use of Afrofuturism and Afropolitan Imagineering in geographic projects that address the politics of difference.
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