Julie Soleil Archambault: Concrete violence, indifference, and other forms of absencing in Mozambique

Event, in English, Shaughnessy House, 11 July, 6pm

Julie Soleil Archambault will speak on concrete violence, indifference, and other forms of absencing in Mozambique as part of the workshop and seminar series Toolkit for Today: Archival Absencing. In the Mozambican suburb of Inhapossa, piles of fresh concrete blocks vividly convey a sense of the momentous transformation underway in a place where building is now described as being “in fashion.” Exuding with promises of a better future, this fresh concrete is emerging amidst the ruins of a not so distant violent past, in a country where the built environment has been scarred by decades of war, economic decline, neglect, and vegetalization. If ruins are reminders of what once was or of what could have been, what do they become in a context of growing prosperity? By examining the ways in which Mozambicans remember the past and project themselves into the future through their engagement with the built environment, the talk asks what happens when alternative archives also promote absencing.

Julie Soleil Archambault is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University. She received her PhD in Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in 2010. Her first research project looked at the new virtual intimate spaces opened up by mobile phone communication in Mozambique and examined the everyday struggles of young people through the lens of their mobile phone practices. She has also conducted research on human-plant relations and is currently writing a book on cement and prosperity in Africa. Archambault is the author of Mobile Secrets: Youth, Intimacy, and the Politics of Pretense in Mozambique (University of Chicago Press, 2017).

Attendance is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please RSVP to confirm your attendance.

Free, fully insured childcare is available for kids three years and up who can use the washroom independently, from 6pm to 7:30pm. Offered in collaboration with The Lion and The Mouse. If you would like to bring children, please indicate so when you RSVP.


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