Political Identity in Nairobi's Central Business District (CDB) : an cesthetic critique

Résumé : To date, there has been no scholarly examination of Nairobi's symbolic space; of the discourses that comprise this national icon. How political power has imagined-and-imaged itself in this space; how it has re-presented and re-produced itself in city centre, is the subject of this study. The question is: What material culture, specifically what built environment, has been employed to transform Nairobi's ubiquity into p/ace-of-belonging? Built culture is considered as a tool (though not an exclusive one) for forging a relation between society and a given spatial context; a medium for society to 'personalise' its space. The focus is iconic buildings sited in the central, public space. It is further delimited to their architectural style. Political authority, though not singularly responsible for collective identity, has been selected as the point of departure because its contribution is decisive. For instance, nation states in Africa, as we know them today, were a creation of a political meeting —the Berlin conference of 1884/5. The role of politics, in imagining and actualizing collective identity is by no means insignificant. Therefore, it is as a product of political performance that Nairobi is interrogated. And the political power addressed includes the administration of the Uganda Railways, the colonial government and its indigenous counterpart. Each regime's iconic buildings are examined: the Railways' station and headquarters, various government offices and the monumental neo-classical High Court and City Hall. An exploration of possible connotations and nuances of this style are sketched out. Kenyatta, the first indigenous president, distanced himself from the colonial neo-classical tradition. Stylistically, his Kenyatta International Conference Centre (kicc) is an antithesis to the neo-classical. His preference was a stylised-African statement. And, in addition to selecting a
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Political science. Dissertation submitted at L'Universite Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux 3 2013. English
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Soumis le : mardi 9 février 2016 - 10:04:41
Dernière modification le : jeudi 4 janvier 2018 - 11:02:21
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Lydia Muthuma. Political Identity in Nairobi's Central Business District (CDB) : an cesthetic critique. Political science. Dissertation submitted at L'Universite Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux 3 2013. English. 〈tel-01263710〉

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