European Studies SMLC HKU School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU
HomeStaffProgrammeResearchNews & EventsContact Us

News & Events

26 November 2014

Non-Aligned Architecture: China's Designs on/in Ghana and Guinea, 1955-1992.

Dr. Cole Roskam, HKU

Date: Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Time: 4:30-6:00pm
Venue: Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

click to see poster

Bio: Cole Roskam is an assistant professor of architectural history in the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong. His writing has appeared in Artforum, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and Grey Room, among other publications. He is currently editing his first book, An Improvised City: Civic Shanghai, 1842-1936, which based on his dissertation. He has also begun work on a second project, which will address China’s architectural culture between 1973 and 1989.

Abstract: This paper examines several architectural collaborations between the People’s Republic of China and two of sub-Saharan Africa’s first decolonized governments in Ghana and Guinea. As physical evidence of new Sino-African partnerships, Chinese design and construction projects in both Ghana and Guinea initially promised a welcome alternative to preexisting, colonial and Cold War-era infrastructural production models. Analysis of the works themselves, however, coupled with a closer look at the political and ideological rhetoric behind their production, reveals a kind of cross-cultural cooperation emblematic of new geopolitical forces yet inscribed with many of the same operational and epistemic imbalances that have marked other kinds of foreign architectural engagement with African countries.

EUST footer