Exploding Johannesburg: driving in a worldly city.

Graham, James (2007) Exploding Johannesburg: driving in a worldly city. Transtext(e)s-Transcultures: journal of global cultural studies. (3). pp. 67-83. ISSN 2105-2549

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Official URL: http://transtexts.revues.org/index140.html


This article argues for the importance of the «system of automobility» to critical cultural studies of Johannesburg, sub-Saharan Africa’s most globalized city. Using Ivan Vladislavić’s 2004 experimental novella The Exploded View as a primary example, it takes issue with the tendency for cultural studies of the city to focus on pedestrian mobility, or «walking in the city», as being an inherently liberatory practice. Without downplaying the «everyday evasiveness» of walking in the city, this article nonetheless points to the different ways in which pedestrian mobility is invariably circumscribed in a city built around the car. In Vladislavić’s novella, for example, characters drive through rather than walk in the city, and this corresponds to an overlooked form of poetics and power relations that are fundamental to what might be described as Johannesburg’s ‘worldly’ personality.

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A publication of the Institute of Transcultural Studies and transtextual (IETT) in collaboration with the International Institute for Transcultural Studies and diasporic (University of Cyprus, Liverpool Hope University, Jean Moulin University, Sun Yat-Sen University).

Research Areas:A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media > English Language and Literature
ID Code:5177
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Deposited On:15 Apr 2010 07:30
Last Modified:09 Nov 2015 15:02

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