London in pre-Olympic frenzy. The sheer amount of cultural activities on offer this (European) summer is staggering, and it seems quite impossible to take in the amount of information presented to you on a daily basis. It's bread and games for the Londoners.
So here we are, adding yet another show to the schedule. NAMIBIA - Definitions of Space or Legacies of a Colonial Townpresents the visitor with a timeline-collage of historical images, maps and drawings, which is juxtaposed with contemporary aspects of the city – its architecture and its inhabitation. This exposes some of the lasting legacies of Namibia's colonial history, and the fragmented spatial realities that define the contemporary, post-colonial city. This poses the question of the role of the architectural profession in designing alternative futures, to overcome these legacies. The recent bulldozing of "illegal" shacks in Katutura should be a wake-up call to all of us: has there been any real change in the way we conceive our cities, and who should or should not be included?
The exhibition opened on the night of 28th June and has been very well received so far. Public events such as the Namibia / South Africa Post-Colonial Legacies round table, chaired by Prof. Lindsay Bremner of the University of Westminster will further deepen the academic debate on some of the questions raised by the exhibition.
For the Department this event promises to be the beginning of more serious research into socio-spatial conditions in Namibia both rural and urban.
*Originally published on 1 July 2012