African City Centre (Re)sourced edition:3rd location:University of Pretoria, South Africa date:25-28 September 2009
Starting from an urban environment in the Global South, i.c. Kinshasa, the presentation offers a reflection on city, utopia, modernity and the (im)possibilities to design new worlds. The starting point is a maquette, âThe Tourist Cityâ by a Kinshasa based artist, Pume Bylex. Unhindered by material constraints and practicalities, Bylex courageously builds his perfect world and city, inventing his own cosmology, his own forms of modernity, his own development ideologies and his own radical utopianism. His general worldview transcends objective reality. In the Bylex world the imagination plays a prominent role, in an endeavour to realize the impossible, without which both private and public worlds would be the poorer In the process he forces us to think about what makes a world, and what makes it inhabitable and liveable. Injecting reality with his fantasy, Bylexâs radical solutions confront us with the limitations of our own mindsets, and thereby offer a fertile alternative basis for reflecting on urbanity and the human condition in general.