AbdouMaliq Simone


AbdouMaliq Simone teaches sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London and has taught at various universities in Africa and the US. As an urbanist he has carried out research on African cities and more recently on South-east Asian cities. He combines his pan-African experience working with NGOs, municipal government and community upgrading projects together with research on urban culture, policy, international relations and critical theory. Simone's research points to the inadequacy of modernist discourses in understanding the contemporary realities of non-western cities. His work focuses on the everyday experiences of people in sites and locations that are under-represented within academia, such as his 2004 book, For the City Yet to Come, which examined the social networks in Douala in Cameroon, Pikine, a large suburb of Dakar in Senegal, the African community in Jeddah, and Winterveld, a neighbourhood on the edge of Pretoria, South Africa. Through combining urban planning with postcolonial literature and development studies, Simone shows how African cities should be seen as examples of everyday resistance against misplaced urban and development plans, rather than being understood as failed cities as has been the prevalent view amongst planners and governments. His work reveals the potential of these cities and points to how their particular resources can be put to work for the development of urban planning policies and proposals.

Other Work

'AbdouMaliq Simone [Lecture]', 2009, http://techtv.mit.edu/genres/25-humanities-arts-and-social-sciences/videos/3011-abdoumaliq-simone [accessed 10 February 2010].

AbdouMaliq Simone, City Life from Jakarta to Dakar: Movements at the Crossroads, Global realities (New York: Routledge, 2009).

---, 'African Cities: A Catalyst for Change', Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 2007, http://static.rnw.nl/migratie/www.radionetherlands.nl/features/amsterdamforum/070318af-redirected [accessed 10 February 2010].

---, For the City Yet to Come: Changing African Life in Four Cities (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004).

---, 'Visible and Invisible: Remaking Cities in Africa', in Under siege: Four African Cities, Freetown, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Lagos, ed. by Okwui Enwezor and et al., Documenta 11, Platform 4 (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2002).

---, In Whose Image? Political Islam and Urban Practices in Sudan (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994).

Urban Africa: Changing Contours of Survival in the City, ed. by AbdouMaliq Simone and Abdelghani Abouhani, Africa in the new millennium (Dakar: Codesria, 2005).


"To be able to make something out of being a city resident, for many [Africans] today, means you have to find ways to NOT consolidate, to not defend, to not have your secure little niche, which you hold onto. It means … taking the chances to move through the city, … to deal with walks of life that are unfamiliar to you, because within those kinds of unexpected or unanticipated chances, some new opportunity and possibility might ensue."
- AbdouMaliq Simone at, Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


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