Author De Boeck, Filip
Article Title “Poverty” and the Politics of Syncopation : Urban Examples from Kinshasa (DR Congo)
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Source Current anthropology. vol. 56, no. spp.11 (Oct. 2015), p. S146-S158
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Call number Article
Journal Title Current anthropology.
Copy vol. 56, no. spp.11 (Oct. 2015), p. S146-S158
ISSN 0011-3204
Brief substance By means of an ethnographic “urban acupuncture” of a specific building within the city of Kinshasa, this article explores how poverty effects emerging publics in the city. Poverty “rhythms” city life in specific ways, and these rhythms may be best understood in terms of a politics of the syncopated and the suspended through which urban publics are constantly splintered and reassembled. The suspensions and missed beats that thus punctuate urban daily living often produce violence, closure, and isolation, but simultaneously they also generate unexpected accents that form openings into the “something else” of the offbeat track, thereby hinting at the (always vulnerable and equally problematic) possibility of alternative collective action and the ad hoc creation of new groups, publics, and public spaces
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