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224  Revolutions of 1776 and 1789 respectively, and both experiences are described as ‘the birth of the Modern World’. Although the development of Abuja began in 1976 and 1977, the origins of the democratic intentions that matured in the election held on 1 April 2015, in which Jonathan and Buhari were the main contestants, can be traced back to the 18th century revolutions.5 Secondly, I see contemporary Africa’s modernisms, modern life and modernity as 21st-century ‘late Enlightenment’ projects grounded in the ‘Triple Heritage’ of architectural and historical experiences – the Indigenous, European, and Islamic-inspired cultural heritage found all over the continent. While the Indigenous strand of the Triple Heritage is varied and encompasses works from North Africa in Egypt through the medieval states of Western Sudan and all the way to Zimbabwe, we can take the era of the Roman occupation of Carthage in North Africa from about 146 BCE as the beginning of the ancient European contributions. The construction of Fort Elmina by the Portuguese in 1482 in what is present-day Ghana can be seen as the beginning of the ‘modern strand’ of European contributions to Africa’s Triple Heritage architectural culture. The conquest of Egypt in 641 AD by proselytizers of the Islamic religion from the Arabian Peninsula completed the ‘Triple Heritage’ culture when that politico-religious movement spread through North, East, West, Central and Southern Africa.6 However, this composite ancient heritage of the continent’s architectural cultures has been fragmented, partly by the forces of colonialism, partly by the agency of the post-colonial elite and nationalist aspirations, and above all by contemporary global capitalism. Although focusing on global cultural productions, Anthony King’s Bungalow, Manfredo Tafuri’s Architecture and Utopia and Robert Home’s Of Planting and Planning are texts that explore how the forces mentioned here disseminated building traditions that were once unique to certain geographical zones in various parts of the world. The buildings are fragments of global cultural commodities, just like shoes, cars, food, and fashion, although we do not like to think of our houses as capitalist products. The physical and the social spaces shown in this exhibition are the arenas for fulfilling individual and collective aspirations in the modern and contemporary ‘life-world’ of African countries. The projects for fulfilling the needs of the life-world embrace the past, the present and the future, all at the same time. Bodys Isek Kingelez’s Project for Kinshasa for the Third Millennium, 1997, is one of the best examples. Other examples of projects in this category are the Library in Alexandria, Egypt, by Snøhetta Architects; Hope City Prampram, Accra, Ghana, by Open Building Research Architects; and the planned Cité du Fleuve projects for the expansion of Kinshasa. Thirdly and lastly, there is the ‘global village’ factor. Every community in Africa is experiencing push-and-pull forces in the maintenance of the community, while simultaneously embracing the gains of the ‘global village’. One example is how communities that were once remote are now connected to the international cellphone networks. This was not the case a little over a decade ago. his means that ‘objects’ and ‘social spaces’ produced in the modernization schemes problematize slogans like ‘Belonging’ and test the scope of broad concepts like ‘Coexistence’, ‘Urban Africa’, ‘Building Futures’, and ‘New Communities’ in the post-Cold War and Post-9/11 neo-liberal capitalist economy. Francis Kéré’s community-inspired projects in Gando, Burkina Faso; Sharon Davis’ Women’s Center in Kanyoza, Rwanda; Emilio and Matteo’s village school in Djinindjebougou, Mali and Peter Rich’s vernacular modernisms are examples of structures and social spaces that are embracing local, national, and internationally-inspired trends in construction and identity. It would be a misreading to see them as entirely local. In fact, the students studying in the schools could be surfing the


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