Infrastructure turned suprastructure : unpredictable materialities and visions of a Nigerian nation

Upphovspersoner: Trovalla, Ulrika | Trovalla, Eric
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics
År: 2014
Språk: eng
Relation: Journal of material culture, 1359-1835, 2014
Ämnesord: African urbanity, anthropology, infrastructure, materiality, Nigeria, Jos, Urban environment, SOCIAL SCIENCES, SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP
Identifikator: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-1894
Identifikator: doi:10.1177/1359183514560284
Rättigheter: info:eu-repo/semantics/restrictedAccess
There are signs hidden in the infrastructure. In the Nigerian city of Jos, the unpredictable availability of power, fuel, water, etc. becomes a vehicle of meaning. In many settings across the globe, infrastructure is often made invisible, and the centre stage that it takes in everyday life remains unrecognized. In Jos, however, as in many African cities, the constant need to predict its flows contradicts the prefix infra (below); rather than being hidden beneath the realm of experience it is brought to the surface as a puzzle to be figured out. These explorations in turn come to reveal matters beyond the infrastructure itself. Just as diviners infer the state of the world from the stones they have thrown, reading significance out of the seeming randomness of matter, the infrastructure turns intricate questions into tangible clues. It becomes a suprastructure - a divination tool giving clues about the past, present and future of the Nigerian nation.