Vindication of places, fights over lands, rise of heritagescapes, discourses about roots, conflicts over interpretations of historical sites are part of the poetics and politics of living in the African continent today. In this panel we invite to explore how place is made and lived through.
This panel invites scholars to discuss the socio-cultural logics of place making in Africa today. While the world we live in is often described as a "runaway" one, and Africa in particular is too often seen as a mere "waiting room" of an airport that everybody hopes to leave one day, the truth is that vindication of places, fights over putative ancestral lands, rise of heritagescapes, discourses about roots, conflicts over interpretations of historical sites, etc are today part and parcel of the poetics and politics of living in (or returning to) the continent. How people construct a sense of place (sometimes out of ruins, sometimes in urban slums, sometimes in the middle of the mangroves, sometimes in millenarian enclaves inside the rainforest) and what kinship, religious, ethnic or political logics are invoked to attain this construction is what we hope to analyze comparatively, with the aim of getting a better sense of the overlapping places and meanings Africa is made of today, and of the kind of places Africans want to build for the generations to come.