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Youth on the Move is imagined as an year-long project that will unfold through two online themed lecture series and two workshops held by institutions in Africa (Lagos Studies Association), China(Centre for African Studies, Peking University) and India (French Institute of Pondicherry, School of Environment and Architecture - Mumbai). These events invariably address the movements of people and knowledge within and between regions of the South.

Workshop I

Performing the City

Youth, Popular Arts and Social Movements in Urban Africa’. This workshop focuses on how the youth practise popular art in cities of the Global South. We collaborate with Lagos Studies Association (LSA), one of the largest Urban Studies associations based in Sub-Saharan Africa. Echoing the theme of 2023, LSA Annual Conference ‘Rethinking Decoloniality: African Decolonization and Epistemologies in the 21st Century’, the workshop aims to understand how popular art practitioners in the urban margins interrupt the institutional norms of pedagogical approaches and interrogate the hierarchies of knowledge production. Inspired by the approaches of the Bariga artists who navigate between the streets and the stages, we encourage in-depth dialogues and interactions between the art practitioners and art scholars.

Virtual Lecture Series

The Time and Space of Youth: Situating Youth in Southern Cities

This online lecture series examines the multi-layered conceptions of youth in a southern context, and argues for alternative frameworks of understanding youth beyond terms like ‘boredom’ and ‘precarity’. We invite scholars of urban studies, anthropology, sociology and culture studies to share their research and reflect on how these approaches enrich the understanding of youth living in the South.

Life on the Move: (Im)mobility and Daily Practices of the Youth

The above lecture series approaches the translocal movements of youth from the perspective of everyday life. We invite scholars whose research projects examine the life of ordinary people, for instance, street vendors, matatu (mini-bus) drivers, women, and translocal migrant workers to map the different trajectories of moving within and between the Southern cities.

Workshop II

Doing Mobile Ethnography: Learning from the Other “Other”’

This is a training workshop for early career scholars. We hope to build not only better communication channels within the south and between north and south, but between the different intellectual traditions on the Asian and African continent itself. Such a re-orientation will arrest and trouble assumptions that what skews publishing patterns is solely that Africa-based scholars are in need of (northern) resources and developmental assistance. Unequal access to resources clearly does influence the publishing patterns of literary scholarship, but this is only part of the challenge we face. We argue that we need to articulate explicit and ethical frameworks for enabling dialogue, and for evaluating knowledge production from different parts of the world.

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