Seminar- The Act of Living: Development and street life in Addis Ababa
Date : Lundi 10 février 2020, 14h00-15:30 / Date: Monday, February 10th, 2020, 2:00-3:30pm
À / Venue: Berhanou Abebe Library, French Center for Ethiopian Studies (JanMeda https://goo.gl/maps/sutSritp3MU2)
Born in Addis Ababa’s inner city between the 1960s and 1970s, Haile and Ibrahim saw their country lift itself from a global symbol of famine and poverty into an African success story by the mid-2010s. Haile and Ibrahim also experienced changes. Growing up during economic stagnation – the 1970s and 1980s – they had learned to recognize their poverty and marginality amidst widely shared experiences of scarcity and exclusion. But as their country prospered, and high-rise steel and glass buildings began popping up in Addis Ababa’s wealthier neighborhoods, marginality persisted for Haile and Ibrahim’s cohort, now with a sense of being out of tune with history.
The Act of Living narrates the biographies of these two men. It follows how they grew up, entered the street economy of hustling and crime and then tried to find ways out through labor, migration, education, entrepreneurship and the city’s informal economies. It explores why development continues to fail the poor, how marginality is understood and acted upon in a time of promise, and why poor people’s claims for open-endedness can constitute the grounds on which to imagine better and more just alternative futures.
Marco Di Nunzio is an anthropologist and urban ethnographer. He spent the last ten years researching urban change, the street economy and the politics of city space in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Lagos (Nigeria) and his hometown Naples (Italy). Marco holds a DPhil in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford and previously worked at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the London School of Economics. He lives in London and currently teaches at the Department of African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham
About the Act of Living…