This panel examines how the gendered dimensions of intimate collaborations characterizing urban dwellers' every-day and night-lives, including the curtailing of intimacy through forms of avoidance and segregation in private or public domains, contribute to new kinds of urban sociality in Africa.
Recent research has highlighted multifaceted processes of fragmentation and increasing inequalities in urban Africa. While these trends have been related to and interpreted in terms of neoliberal transformations and new modes of (dis-)connectedness on global scales, their intimate and gendered dimensions have not attracted much attention. This panel focuses on gendered dimensions of urban life that are characterized by intimate collaborations in various spheres, including the family, kin or peer group, friends and sexual relations, private habitations, as well as work places, public spaces, political organizations or other kinds of 'strategic groups'. People's intimate relations - or the curtailing of intimacy through forms of avoidance and segregation - result in complementing or competing patterns of activities and movements which may have different meanings and relevance for urban dwellers' every-day and night-lives. In our panel we want to examine how the gendered dimensions of intimate collaborations contribute to shaping urban spaces. We invite empirically grounded papers that address this topic from various angles and perspectives. The papers should address the following questions: - How are 'intimacy' and 'collaboration' defined, perceived, circumscribed or performed in a given context? - Who are the actors in which types of collaboration? In what way is gender relevant for the type of collaboration? - "Intimacy" implies knowing about relative social closeness to some and distance to others. How is this knowledge acquired? - Do 'intimate collaborations' contribute to new kinds of urban sociality or professional life in Africa?