Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Histories of Heterogenous Infrastructures: Negotiating Colonial, Postcolonial and Oral Archives in Kampala, Uganda
University of Manchester, United Kingdom.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6415-4821
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0611-7512
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Critical infrastructure studies are growing in importance to understand how sociocultural, ecological, and ecological relations are inscribed, negotiated, and contested in urban spaces. A major effort has been to ground such work in experiences of the global South, moving beyond the “modern infrastructure ideal” a fully networked city, towards conceptualizations of incremental, peopled, and heterogenous infrastructure. However, there are still few historical studies that depart from these new conceptualizations. In this paper we draw upon our empirical work in Kampala, Uganda, in an attempt to historicize “heterogenous infrastructure configurations” (Lawhon et al. 2017) through combining (and constructing) three distinct historical archives: (i) the colonial archives (based on traditional archival work in Kew National Archives in London); (ii) the official postcolonial archives (which meant to crisscross through Kampala to assemble documents, reports, photos and legal notes); and (iii) oral histories (where we interviewed elderly women and men with a long family history in the city). This work has led to several pertinent questions about “what to make of the colonial archives when they systematically exclude or distort the wider heterogenous infrastructure reality that surely existed in parallel to the ‘European’ city?” “why are postcolonial archives so difficult to find and assemble?” and “how to draw upon the richness and texture of oral histories from particular places, families and persons.” This paper then, reflects on how we have grappled with working across these archives with the aim to contribute more general ideas of how to situate and historicize the study of contemporary infrastructures in a postcolonial world (in communication with postcolonial historians as in Mamdani, Chakrabarty, Lalu, and Benson). By pushing different narratives to confront and clash, and by critically looking at our own practice, new histories arise. But also new questions; some which should have been asked long ago. We argue here for an approach of heterodoxa; one that opens for different meanings, archives and locations from where to construct histories and futures about infrastructure and urban spaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
urban studies, history, infrastructure, postcolonial studies, Southern urbanism
National Category
History of Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-258833OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-258833DiVA, id: diva2:1350206
Conference
Royal Geographic Society, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019, 28-30 August.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-03543
Note

QC 20191106

Available from: 2019-09-11 Created: 2019-09-11 Last updated: 2019-11-06Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Conference webpage

Authority records BETA

Ernstson, HenrikNilsson, David

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Ernstson, HenrikNilsson, David
By organisation
History of Science, Technology and Environment
History of Technology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 35 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf