The Department of Global & International Studies invites you to attend the following Research Talk:
Dr. Grace Adeniyi Ogunyankin, Candidate
Title: “A flight of Destiny”: Afropolitan Imagineering and Owambe Urbanism in Ibadan, Nigeria
Dr. Grace Adeniyi Ogunyankin is 1 of 3 candidates for Assistant Professor in the Department of Global & International Studies.
The candidate will give a 20-30 minute presentation followed by a 10-15 minute question and answer period.
The following is an abstract of the candidate’s presentation:
Across the globe, many cities are competing for investment and managed like businesses. Ibadan, Nigeria is no different. Yet, it is slightly different. For many years, there has been an acute awareness that Ibadan is peripheral to the global economy and an outlier in the ranking of world-class cities. But in the past six years, amidst the circulating narrative of Africa Rising, Ibadan has embarked on what I call an Afropolitan Imagineering project of Owambe Urbanism. I posit that Afropolitan Imagineering refers to the production, both real and aspirational, of new images/narratives of Africa and Africans as world-class and cosmopolitan, and consciously replaces the negative colonial and neo-colonial ones. At the urban level, I use a local Yoruba term, Owambe, to address how global projects of neoliberal urbanism become more nuanced at the local level when culture and difficult histories are also taken into account. Owambe urbanism is a spatio-temporal project concerning destination, departure, arrival, identity and place-making. Specifically, it is about the struggle for global positioning and recognition, the aspiration to belong and overcome ostracism, the imperative to compare, imitate and outshine, the aesthetic of ostentation, the painful awareness of the precarity of status, and the ambition to become a trendsetter. Owambe urbanism requires citizens to make sacrifices and collectively “join hands” as key steps towards moving from the realm of “urban degeneration” to Ibadan’s glorious transformation into a prosperous global city. This “prosperous place of hope” constructs a narrative that there is indeed a shared and happy future. However, I argue that this promise of happiness is challenged by willful and killjoy (Ahmed, 2017) women who are cognizant that a shared and happy future is impossible when little effort is made to address social inequality in the present. They thus refuse to be “good” citizens and invoke an alternative urban futurity through their embodied and imagined resistances.
Everyone is welcome!