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  • 1.
    Trovalla, Ulrika
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Urban Dynamics.
    Trovalla, Eric
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Urban Dynamics.
    Infrastructure turned suprastructure: unpredictable materialities and visions of a Nigerian nation2015In: Journal of material culture, ISSN 1359-1835, E-ISSN 1460-3586, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 43-57Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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.

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