Sustaining the Life of the Polis: Pasts and Futures of Public Health Work in African Cities
Ruth Prince (Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge)
Dr Noemi Tousignant (Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge)
How are publics of protection and care defined in African cities today? The effects of globalization and neoliberal policies on urban space are well-documented. From London to Sao Paolo, denationalisation, privatisation, offshoring and cuts in state expenditure are creating enclaves and exclusions, resulting in fragmented, stratified social geographies In African cities, where humanitarian/experimental and market logics dominate the distribution of sanitation and healthcare, this fragmentation is particularly stark. Privilege and crisis interrupt older contiguities, delineating spaces and times of exception and defining the ‘public’ of health by survival or consumption. Is it possible, under these conditions, to enact and imagine public health as a project of citizens, animated in civic space?
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