Monrovia Modern: Urban Form and Political Imagination in Liberia
Monday, February 17, 2020 - 4:30pm
Monrovia Modern: Urban Form and Political Imagination in Liberia

Location: SMSU 294
Time: February 17th, 4:30 PM

Monrovia, Liberia, like cities across the global south, is dominated by the ruins of modernist urban forms. The so-called “International Style” once marked the city as cosmopolitan and contemporary. Today, many Monrovians inhabit the remains of this infrastructure in unintended, improvised and transitory ways. Architects, urban designers, anthropologists, historians, geographers, photographers and filmmakers have all seen in these novel attempts to inhabit ruins a new popular politics of the city. Drawing on fieldwork with male ex-combatants in Monrovia, many of whom live as squatters in the city’s ruined infrastructure, “Monrovia Modern” is an effort to understand the limits of this emergent popular politics. With a particular emphasis on the camera as a research tool, the project is a multi-media effort to understand the lived experience of contemporary African urban space.  

Danny Hoffman is Chair of African Studies and the Bartley-Dobb Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.

This talk is co-sponsored by the PSU Honors College and the departments of Anthropology and International & Global Studies.