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Addis Becoming 'Addis': A Hegemonic Making?
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Built Environment Analysis. (CAL)
2012 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The paper deals with the notion of space and power in thesymbolic and physical making of places. It identifies three forms of power in such making: that which is inscribedin the architecture; that embedded in the social structures and norms; and that which individuals themselvesexert by their everyday uses of spaces and facilities. The paper discusses how dominant discourses resonatethrough architectural forms and influence spatial meaning and use and conversely how space mediates, framesand contests everyday power practices. It uses historical narrative and ethnographic methods to study how anaggressive large-scale condominium housing production in Addis Ababa serves a sociopolitical goal ofconstructing an image of a ‘modern’ city – ‘addis’ Addis. Theories are primarily drawn from works of Bourdiue,Lefebvre, and Dovey. The preliminary finding shows how desire for the ‘modern’ facilitates residents’cooperativeness to adapting to new ways of life inscribed in condominium architecture and their willingness toexercise ‘positive power’ as seen in their ‘constructive’ appropriation of spaces. ‘Modernity’, here, becomes asocial force that coordinates positive power relations. However, this was constantly resisted by power structuresembedded in established social norms and structures. Residents’ ways of negotiating between these contestingpowers through their everyday activities becomes vital in the ‘construction’ of new identity of their place. Theevidence challenges views that see space as fixed, empty, and enclosed container of social practices. Space isinstead shown to be a dynamic medium configured by power, and becomes a resource for power. The studyshows how understanding power struggles can help identify interests articulated by users; and that neglecting toconsider this process in the conception of housing projects could undermine possibilities for practicingconstructive social interactions or on the other hand may encourage power domination.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Detroit, MICHIGAN, 2012.
Keyword [en]
Space, Power, Place-making, Modernization, Modernity, Housing, Condominium, Addis Ababa
National Category
Architecture Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-107776OAI: diva2:578041
Spaces and Flows: An International Conference on Urban and ExtraUrban Studies 2012, Detroit, MICHIGAN

QC 20121218

Available from: 2012-12-17 Created: 2012-12-17 Last updated: 2016-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Ejigu, Alazar Gedamu
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