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Title: Opaque architectures : spatial practices of African migrant markets in Cape Town (1990 - present)
Author: Tayob, H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 5540
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The dissertation explores the spatial practices of African migrant markets in post-Apartheid Cape Town. The research is framed by the fields of everyday architectures and subaltern studies, and argues that while the former field has expanded the understanding of architecture by recognising the ordinary spaces of everyday life, the latter field offers a critical reading in relation to marginal populations and contested sites. As a whole the thesis therefore suggests that beyond understanding these markets as everyday architectures, they should be understood as minor or marginal architectures, where their subordinate position is understood as a relative and contingent construct. The first part of the thesis discusses the methodological and theoretical approach developed through the research. Drawing on the dual framework of everyday architectures and subaltern studies, the research shows how these marginal architectures are rendered opaque as a result of spatial and political processes within the city, country and continent. This dual framework enables a recognition of the inventive micro-spatial practices of the markets, while simultaneously pointing to the impact of the broader context within which they are situated. The primary research methods employed are a combination of ethnographic research, interviews, observations and drawings. The subsequent chapters are structured according to decreasing spatial scales. They discuss the specificities of spatial stories and spatial practices through the acts of border crossing, public spaces, home making and unmaking and cross-border trading. Through these practices and spaces they point to questions of national belonging, migration, gender and race as having spatial, material and embodied expressions. The conceptual framing of the markets enables a view of these spaces beyond a topographical reading as sites of informality, deprivation, and poverty, to understand the complexity of the spatial and material processes which underpin these sites.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available