About the practices and politics of place and identity formation – the slippery ways in which who we are becomes wrapped up with where we are – this book exposes the relations of place to power. It links everyday aspects of place experience to the social theories of Deleuze and Bourdieu in a very readable manner. This is a book that takes the social critique of built form another step through detailed fieldwork and analysis in particular case studies. Through a broad range of case studies from nationalist monuments and new urbanist suburbs to urban laneways and avant garde interiors, questions are explored such as: What is neighborhood character? How do squatter settlements work and does it matter what they look like? Can architecture liberate? How do monuments and public spaces shape or stabilize national identity?
Edited with authority by the influential and respected Stephen Chan, this unique collection of essays gathers together for the first time both African and Chinese perspectives on China's place in Africa. The book starts with an excellent introductory essay from Stephen Chan, written in his usual elegant prose and featuring some very fresh insights organised with great clarity. Featuring useful historical context, this brave book analyses the "moral" aspects of the policies and ensuing migration. The book completely undermines existing assumptions concerning Sino-African relations, such as that Africa is of critical importance for China; that China sees no risk in its largesse towards Africa; and that there is a single Chinese profile/agenda. The resulting collection touches the issue of racism but is equally about moments of pure idealism and 'romance' in Sino-African history.