The City as Assemblage. Diasporic Cultures, Postmodern Spaces, and Biopolitics [chapter]

Couze Venn
Negotiating Urban Conflicts  
The paper focuses on the emergence of the megacity/postmodern city and argues that its conceptualisation as space must break with notions of linear development and homogenous temporality in the analysis of urban socialities and in the application of centralised forms of governance to the regulation of such spaces. I draw attention to diasporic settlements, the co-habitation of different temporalities and spatialities, the emergence and the co-existence of discrepant imaginaries and ways of
more » ... . There are implications for issues of identity, biopolitics, and for cultural analysis. Pr obl em at i zat i o n s In what follows, I want to focus on what the postcolonial recognition of the ubiquity of diasporas and the emergence of a new problematic about transcultural processes mean for rethinking the questions of culture and identity from the point of view of the heterogeneity of spatiality and temporality. One of my aims is to challenge some long-standing assumptions in the discourse of modernity about temporality, spatiality, and social imaginaries, although Lefebvre (1991) already opened up a theoretical space for such an undertaking. In particular, I will argue that the idea that the ordered community is ideally ethnically homogenous and developmentally "progressive," an idea central to occidentalism, is fundamentally incompatible with the mutant, creolised, and "vernacular" cosmopolitanisms (Hall 1999) that have now become the norm in the megacity/postmodern city.
doi:10.14361/9783839404638-003 fatcat:7gtukomy2rev5d2xo54ssjzosm