WEBINAR Seeing Salvador in Luanda: Tracing forms of City-Making Across the Southern Atlantic


WEBINAR Seeing Salvador in Luanda: Tracing forms of City-Making Across the Southern Atlantic

Anthropology and Development Studies Seminar Series

Odebrecht arrived in Angola in the mid-1980s. Then a rapidly growing construction company from the Brazilian state of Bahia, they crossed the Atlantic Ocean to build a hydroelectric dam. If much of their national growth was intimately connected to the development of the petrochemical industry in Bahia, the second international contract in their history was ostensibly backed by oil transfers between Sonangol and Petrobras. Likewise, Odebrecht partnered with architectural firm Prado Valladares to branch out of the heavy construction sector on both sides of the Atlantic. If in Salvador, they were both involved in the profusion of new forms of urbanism throughout the 1970s and 1980s, in Luanda the two companies were directly responsible for forging an official land market in 1990s and for establishing the conditions for what became the dominant form of state-sanctioned urbanism in the 2000s. This seminar will build on an investigation of this Southern Atlantic urban formation.

Continents, nations, and the ideas that bind them together have been fundamental building blocks of existing ideas in urban studies. Like many other efforts in the humanities and social sciences, urban analysis has more often than not drawn upon the maps and cartographic imaginaries of area studies. This is so even after its presumptive boundaries have been called into question. If regional demarcations were once strong and unequivocal, nowadays lines tend to be drawn in sand. Nevertheless, they still mark out the study of cities in global context. Sometimes, they are visible and explicitly delineated; at others, they are implicitly informed by different forms of landlocked reasoning. The objective of this seminar is to destabilise this continental edifice. Drawing on critical oceanic studies and the maritime imaginaries of urban analysis, the aim is to analyse historical flows of people, commodities and cultural practices as a means to unpack how Salvador came to be in Luanda



  • Dr Ricardo Cardoso
    Dr Ricardo Cardoso, Assistant Professor