Archiving the postcolonial city

de Jong, Ferdinand and Murphy, David (2014) Archiving the postcolonial city. Francosphères, 3 (1). ISSN 2046-3839 (

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The archive has emerged as a critical tool to conceptualise the heuristic value of history, heritage, and memory in debates on postcolonial futures. In this special issue, we take stock of the possibilities for the colonial and postcolonial archive to provide frameworks for the imagination of postcolonial futures.2 We posit that archival work in the postcolonial city may help retrace the past in order to reconfigure the future. In the current climate of postcolonial malaise, the archival imagination may constitute a significant component in the reconfiguration of postcolonial futures. However, such claims can only be made if we are indeed allowed to imagine the city as an archive, to be read in an archival way. How can such a concept of the city be defended?


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