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  • 1.
    Trovalla, Eric
    et al.
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Trovalla, Ulrika
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Infrastructure as a divination tool: Whispers from the grids in a Nigerian city2015Inngår i: City, ISSN 1360-4813, E-ISSN 1470-3629, Vol. 19, nr 2-3, s. 332-343Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    In the Nigerian city of Jos, everyday life is shaped by interlacing rhythms of disconnection and reconnection. Petrol, electricity, water, etc., come and go, and in order to gain access inhabitants constantly try to discern the logics behind these fluctuations. However, the unpredictable infrastructure also becomes a system of signs through which residents try to understand issues beyond those immediately at hand. Signals, pipes, wires and roads link individuals to larger wholes, and the character of these connections informs and transforms experiences of the social world. Not only an object, but also a means of divination, infrastructure is a harbinger of truths about elusive and mutable social entities?neighbourhoods, cities, nations and beyond. Through the materiality of infrastructure, its flows and glitches carefully read by the inhabitants, an increasingly disjointed city emerges. Through new experiences of differentiated modes of connectedness?of no longer sharing the same roads, pipes, electricity lines, etc.?narratives are formed around lost common trajectories. By focusing on how wires, pipes and roads are turned into a divination system?how the inhabitants of Jos try to divine the city's infrastructure and possible ways forward, as well as how they try, through the infrastructure, to predict a city, a nation and a world beyond?this paper strives to find ways to grasp a thickness of urban becomings?a cityness on the move according to its own unique logic.

  • 2.
    Trovalla, Ulrika
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Competing prayers: the making of a Nigerian urban landscape2015Inngår i: Anthropology Southern Africa, ISSN 2332-3256, Vol. 38, nr 3-4, s. 302-313Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
  • 3.
    Trovalla, Ulrika
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Haunted by Absent Others: Movements of Evil in a Nigerian City2015Inngår i: Encountering Evil: Anthropology in Everyday Africa / [ed] William C. Olsen & Walter E.A. van Beek, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015, s. 175-194Kapittel i bok, del av antologi (Fagfellevurdert)
  • 4.
    Trovalla, Ulrika
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Infrastructure becomes suprastructure2013Inngår i: Annual Report : 2012: Development Dilemmas, ISSN 1104-5256, Vol. 2012, s. 9-12Artikkel i tidsskrift (Annet vitenskapelig)
  • 5.
    Trovalla, Ulrika
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Predicting an Uncertain Infrastructure2013Inngår i: Embassy Newsletter – Economic and Promotional News from West Africa, Vol. winterArtikkel i tidsskrift (Annet (populærvitenskap, debatt, mm))
    Abstract [en]

    Recently, our research project ‘Infrastructure as Divination: Urban Life in the Postcolony’ received funding from the Swedish Research Council. This three-year project explores the often overlooked qualitative aspects of infrastructure, and focuses on how the inhabitants in the Nigerian city of Jos try to predict the comings and goings of the  infrastructure, as well as how they, through the infrastructure itself, try to predict the future of the city and the nation. Hence the word ‘divination’ in the title, which means ‘prediction,’ ‘prophecy,’ or ‘forecast.’

  • 6.
    Trovalla, Ulrika
    et al.
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Trovalla, Eric
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Infrastructure turned suprastructure: unpredictable materialities and visions of a Nigerian nation2015Inngår i: Journal of material culture, ISSN 1359-1835, E-ISSN 1460-3586, Vol. 20, nr 1, s. 43-57Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    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.

  • 7.
    Trovalla, Ulrika
    et al.
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Trovalla, Eric
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Adetula, Victor
    University of Jos.
    Movement as Mediation: Envisioning a Divided Nigerian City2014Inngår i: Nordic Journal of African Studies, ISSN 1235-4481, E-ISSN 1459-9465, Vol. 23, nr 2, s. 66-82Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Since its establishment in the beginning of the twentieth century, the inhabitants of the ethnically and religiously diverse Nigerian city of Jos have inhabited very different places and travelled along opposite trails – patterns that in recent years, with an escalation of violence, have gained new dimensions. By bringing people’s movements into focus, this article highlights how movement comes in different ways to mediate between people and a city in flux. Brought to light is how movement in several different modalities – fast, slow, in total arrest; clothed in Christian or Muslim attires; by car, on foot, or on horseback; assertive or explorative, in triumph as well as in fear – by mediating between people and the city, brings forth a metaphysical landscape that otherwise is hard to get hold of. In this vein, movement as a medium has become a form of ‘social envisioning’ – a tool for understanding and foretelling the city.

  • 8.
    Trovalla, Ulrika
    et al.
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Trovalla, Erik
    Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics.
    Suprastructure: A photo exhibition2013Bok (Annet (populærvitenskap, debatt, mm))
    Abstract [en]

    The photo exhibition ’Suprastructure’ was first displayed at Museum Gustavianum in Uppsala between 17 November 2012 and 5 March 2013. It was digitally published in March 2013 as part of a research project entitled ‘Infrastructure as Divination: Urban Life in the Postcolony,’ financed by the Swedish Research Council. The scholars behind the exhibition, Ulrika and Erik Trovalla, are researchers in cultural anthropology and ethnology. They are based at the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, and Uppsala University. Drawing on their photographs from the million city Jos in central Nigeria, they here give a glimpse of their research into the meanings of infrastructure in everyday life.

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