PRINT September 2016

Sean Anderson

Dakar, 2011. Photo: Jeff Attaway/Flickr.

IN 1856, at the height of aggressive empire-building campaigns across Africa, a French official claimed that Dakar would become “the capital of all our African possessions.” The westernmost point on the African mainland, Dakar had much to offer France’s colonial regime: resources, geography, and labor. Indeed, through a complex history of planning, building, and sometimes-deferred development, the city would eventually become both a source for and an image of modernity.

The conjunction of modern design techniques with colonial mandates allowed for a number of French cities throughout Morocco, Algeria, and Vietnam to be organized according to spatial divisions that replicated (or reified) the structure of its “civilizing mission.” Scholars have described this fashioning of urban space as a dialectical model in which the historicized medina, with its dense passages and exoticized

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the discounted rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2016 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.