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Mobile Access to Knowledge: Culture and Safety in Africa. Documenting and assessing the impact of cultural events and public art on urban safety.
Research Question:

To what extent can cultural events and public art contribute to enhancing urban safety and security in slums?

As the Millennium Development Goals declare, the achievement of a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers is essential. Safety is a priority, as the UN-Habitat publication on enhancing urban safety and security has recently shown. This research focuses on safety, but with a very specific, pluri-disciplinary and comparative approach. The study is based on the analysis of innovative cultural events and public art installations produced in three violent and unsafe African cities : Douala (Cameroon), Johannesburg (South Africa), and Luanda (Angola). Cultural events and public art are not meant to produce safety : they are a space of experimentation with side effects : one of those is safety. Douala is the location of a major cultural event on public art and of a critical number of public installations conceived in over twenty years. Johannesburg is at the centre of a policy of urban renovation implemented through cultural initiatives. Luanda has assisted in the last seven years to a post-war cultural strategy. Informal studies have assessed the experimental capacity of those experiences of producing livability, civil cohabitation and social cohesion, the main features of urban safety. Further knowledge and a pluri-disciplinary and comparative approach is needed to acknowledge the role and the impact of cultural events and public art on safety. This knowledge made available at a local and international level through ICT and mobile phone technology is essential in order to allow researchers, NGOs and policy makers to consider new ways of improving the lives of slum dwellers.

Ongoing

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Project Members

Name Role Department/Institute Institution
Davide Fornari Coordinator DACD-LCV Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana
Cecilia Liveriero Lavelli Co-Coordinator DACD-LCV Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana
Didier Schaub Principal Member Doual'art, Douala, Cameroon Doual'art
Emanuela Fanny Bonini Lessing Principal Member Università Iuav di Venezia, Italy Università IUAV di Venezia
Ntone Edjabe Principal Member African Cities Reader, Chimurenga, Kalakuta Trust South Africa Kalakuta Trust
Ismail Farouk Principal Member African Center for Cities, University of Cape Town University of Cape Town
Luca Morici Principal Member DACD-LCV Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana
Marilyn Douala Bell Principal Member Doual'art, Douala, Cameroon Doual'art
Serena Cangiano Principal Member DACD-LCV Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana
Fabio Vanin Principal Member Latitude Latitude
Iolanda Pensa Principal Member lettera27 Foundation, Italy lettera27 Foundation
Marta Pucciarelli Principal Member Faculty of Communication Sciences Università della Svizzera Italiana
Aude Guyot Principal Member École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications Ecole nationale supérieure des Télécommunications
Simon Njami Associated Member Sindika Dokolo Foundation, Luanda, Angola Sindika Dokolo Foundation
Fernando Alvim Associated Member SOSO - arte contemporânea, Trienal de Luanda, TACCA – Territórios de Arte e Cultura Contemporânea Africana, Sindika Dokolo Found SOSO - arte contemporânea Trienal de Luanda
Edgar Pieterse Associated Member African Center for Cities, University of Cape Town University of Cape Town
Isabella Rega Associated Member Faculty of Communication Sciences Università della Svizzera Italiana
Roberto Casati Associated Member Institut Jean Nicod, Ecole Normale Supérieure Ecole normale supérieure
Lorenzo CANTONI Associated Member Faculty of Communication Sciences Università della Svizzera Italiana