Anxious Joburg

The Inner Lives of a Global South City
Editor(s): ,
Contributor(s): , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Publication Date: October 2020
  • Dimensions and Pages: 234 x 156mm ; Extent: 296pp 28 Illustrations, black & white
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-77614-628-4
  • eBook EAN: 978-1-77614-630-7
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-77614-629-1
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 420.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 35.00

Anxiety might be terrifying, says Kierkegaard, but it speaks to the possibility of possibility.
So, too, do the luminous, edgy essays assembled here, that make palpable the abrasive
friction, the alchemy of abjection and ebullience, that drives Johannesburg’s creativity and its
unlikely glamour.
Professor Jean Comaroff, Harvard University

Falkof and Van Staden have curated a remarkable academic collaboration, able to engage
such a turbulent landscape with both intellectual acuity and tenderness.
— Professor Abdoumaliq Simone, University of Sheffield

In this most unequal city, what kind of constraints circumscribe our attempts to live an
‘authentic’ life? Whether interrogating the Global Citizen festival or traversing the city by taxi
while female or just simply riding a bike … a luta continua!
— Dr Melissa Tandiwe Myambo, editor of Reversing Urban Inequality in Johannesburg

Anxious Joburg focuses on Johannesburg, the largest and wealthiest city in South Africa, as a case study for the contemporary global south city. Southern cities are often characterised as sites of contradiction and difference that produce a range of feelings around anxiety. This is often imagined in terms of the global north’s anxieties about the south as a source of migration, crime, terrorism, disease and environmental crisis. Anxious Joburg invites readers to consider an intimate perspective of living inside such a city. How does it feel to live in the metropolis of Johannesburg? What are the conditions, intersections, affects and experiences that mark the contemporary urban?

Scholars, visual artists and storytellers all look at unexamined aspects of Johannesburg life. From peripheral settlements and the inner city to the affluent northern suburbs, from precarious migrants and domestic workers to upwardly mobile young women and fearful elites, Anxious Joburg presents an absorbing engagement with this frustrating, dangerous, seductive city. It offers a rigorous, critical view of Johannesburg, revealing the way in which anxiety is a vital structuring principle of contemporary life.

The approach is strongly interdisciplinary, with contributions from fields including media studies, anthropology, religious studies, urban geography, migration studies and psychology. It will appeal to students and teachers as well as to academic researchers concerned with Johannesburg, South Africa, cities and the global South. The mix of approaches will also draw a non-academic audience.

Map of Johannesburg – Naadira Patel
Foreword – Sisonke Msimang
Introduction: Traversing the anxious metropolis – Nicky Falkof and Cobus van Staden

Taxi Diaries I What are you doing in Joburg? – Baeletsi Tsatsi
Chapter 1 ‘We are all in this together’: Global Citizen, violence and anxiety in Johannesburg – Cobus van Staden
Chapter 2 ‘It’s not nice to be poor in Joburg’: Compensated relationships as social survival in the city – Lebohang Masango
Chapter 3 Driving, cycling and identity in Johannesburg – Njogu Morgan

Taxi Diaries II Travelling while female – Baeletsi Tsatsi
Chapter 4 ‘The white centreline vanishes’: Fragility and anxiety in the elusive metropolis – Derek Hook
Chapter 5 Ugly noo-noos and suburban nightmares – Nicky Falkof
Chapter 6 The unruly in the anodyne: Nature in gated communities – Renugan Raidoo
Chapter 7 The Chinatown back room: The afterlife of apartheid architectures – Mingwei Huang
Chapter 8 Shifting topographies of the anxious city – Antonia Steyn
Chapter 9 Photography and religion in anxious Joburg – Joel Cabrita and Sabelo Mlangeni
Chapter 10 Marooned: Seeking asylum as a transgender person in Johannesburg – B Camminga
Chapter 11 Everyday urbanisms of fear in Johannesburg’s periphery: The case of Sol Plaatje settlement – Khangelani Moyo
Chapter 12 Inner-city anxieties: Fear of crime, getting by and disconnected urban lives – Aidan Mosselson

Taxi Diaries III And now you are in Joburg – Baeletsi Tsatsi
Afterword: Urban atmospheres – Sarah Nuttall
Contributors
Index

Nicky Falkof is Associate Professor in Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
Cobus van Staden is a Senior Researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and is affi liated with the department of Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Anxiety might be terrifying, says Kierkegaard, but it speaks to the possibility of possibility.
So, too, do the luminous, edgy essays assembled here, that make palpable the abrasive
friction, the alchemy of abjection and ebullience, that drives Johannesburg’s creativity and its
unlikely glamour.
Professor Jean Comaroff, Harvard University

Falkof and Van Staden have curated a remarkable academic collaboration, able to engage
such a turbulent landscape with both intellectual acuity and tenderness.
— Professor Abdoumaliq Simone, University of Sheffield

In this most unequal city, what kind of constraints circumscribe our attempts to live an
‘authentic’ life? Whether interrogating the Global Citizen festival or traversing the city by taxi
while female or just simply riding a bike … a luta continua!
— Dr Melissa Tandiwe Myambo, editor of Reversing Urban Inequality in Johannesburg

Related titles

Leave a Reply