From Dar es Salaam to Bongoland

Livres
432 pages
Lire un extrait
Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
En savoir plus

Description

The name Dar es Salaam comes from the Arabic phrase meaning house of peace. A popular but erroneous translation is �haven of peace� resulting from a mix-up of the Arabic words "dar" (house) and "bandar" (harbour). Named in 1867 by the Sultan of Zanzibar, the town has for a long time benefitted from a reputation of being a place of tranquility. The tropical drowsiness is a comfort to the socialist poverty and under-equipment that causes an unending anxiety to reign over the town. Today, for the Tanzanian, the town has become Bongoland, that is, a place where survival is a matter of cunning and intelligence (bongo means �brain� in Kiswahili). Far from being an anecdote, this slide into toponomy records the mutations that affect the links that Tanzanians maintain with their principal city and the manner in which it represents them. This book takes into account the changes by departing from the hypothesis that they reveal a process of territorialisation. What are the processes�envisaged as spatial investments�which, by producing exclusivity, demarcations and exclusions, fragment the urban space and its social fabric? Do the practices and discussions of the urban dwellers construct limited spaces, appropriated, identified and managed by communities (in other words, territories)? Dar es Salaam is often described as a diversified, relatively homogenous and integrating place. However, is it not more appropriate to describe it as fragmented? As territorialisation can only occur through frequenting, management and localised investment, it is therefore through certain places�first shelter and residential area, then the school, daladala station, the fire hydrant and the quays�that the town is observed. This led to broach the question in the geographical sense of urban policy carried out since German colonisation to date. At the same time, the analysis of these developments allows for an evaluation of the role of the urban crisis and the responses it brings. In sum, the aim of this approach is to measure the impact of the uniqueness of the place on the current changes. On one hand, this is linked to its long-term insertion in the Swahili civilisation, and on the other, to its colonisation by Germany and later Britain and finally, to the singularity of the post-colonial path. This latter is marked by an alternation of Ujamaa with Structural Adjustment Plans applied since 1987. How does this remarkable political culture take part in the emerging city today? This book is a translation of De Dar es Salaam � Bongoland: Mutations urbaines en Tanzanie, published by Karthala, Paris in 2006.

Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 01 novembre 2010
Nombre de visites sur la page 1
EAN13 9789987081288
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,014 €. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Signaler un problème

FROM DAR ES SALAAM TO BONGOLAND
The name Dar es Salaam comes from the Arabic phrase meaning house of peace. A
popular but erroneous translation is ‘haven of peace’ resulting from a mix-up of the
Arabic words "dar" (house) and "bandar" (harbour). Named in 1867 by the Sultan
of Zanzibar, the town has for a long time beneftted from a reputation of being a
place of tranquility. The tropical drowsiness is a comfort to the socialist poverty and
under-equipment that causes an unending anxiety to reign over the town. Today,
for the Tanzanian, the town has become Bongoland, that is, a place where survival
is a matter of cunning and intelligence (bongo means ‘brain’ in Kiswahili). Far from
being an anecdote, this slide into toponomy records the mutations that afect the
links that Tanzanians maintain with their principal city and the manner in which it
represents them.
This book takes into account the changes by departing from the hypothesis that
they reveal a process of territorialisation. What are the processes—envisaged as
spatial investments—which, by producing exclusivity, demarcations and exclusions,
fragment the urban space and its social fabric? Do the practices and discussions of
the urban dwellers construct limited spaces, appropriated, identifed and managed
by communities (in other words, territories)? Dar es Salaam is often described as
a diversifed, relatively homogenous and integrating place. However, is it not more FROM DAR ES SALAAM TO
appropriate to describe it as fragmented?
As territorialisation can only occur through frequenting, management and localised
investment, it is therefore through certain places—frst shelter and residential area,
then the school, daladala station, the fre hydrant and the quays—that the town is BONGOLANDobserved. This led to broach the question in the geographical sense of urban policy
carried out since German colonisation to date. At the same time, the analysis of
these developments allows for an evaluation of the role of the urban crisis and the URBAN MUTATIONS IN TANZANIA
responses it brings.
In sum, the aim of this approach is to measure the impact of the uniqueness of the
place on the current changes. On one hand, this is linked to its long-term insertion
in the Swahili civilisation, and on the other, to its colonisation by Germany and later
Britain and fnally, to the singularity of the post-colonial path. This latter is marked
by an alternation of Ujamaa with Structural Adjustment Plans applied since 1987.
How does this remarkable political culture take part in the emerging city today?
This book is a translation of De Dar es Salaam à Bongoland: Mutations urbaines en
Tanzanie, published by Karthala, Paris in 2006.
COLLECTION DIRECTED BY JEAN COPANS
IFRA-NAIROBI COORDINATED BY BERNARD CALAS
MKUKI NA NYOTAFROM DAR ES SALAAM TO BONGOLANDFROM DAR ES SALAAM TO BONGOLAND
URAFIKI COLLECTION
Coordinated by Bernard Calas
Karthala
Mkuki na Nyota Publishers
French Institute for Research in AfricaThis English translation is published by
Mkuki na Nyota Publishers Ltd.
P. O. Box 4246
Dar es Salam, Tanzania
www.mkukinanyota.com
In association with
French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA)
P.O.Box 58480 - 00200,
Nairobi, Kenya.
www.ifra-nairobi.net
Originally published by:
Karthala
22-24, Blrd Arago75013 Paris
De Dar es Salaam à Bongoland : Mutations urbaine en Tanzanie
Translation by
Naomi Morgan
Cover Photo
Cécile Roy
ISBN 978-9987-08-094-6
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be produced, stored in any retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form or by any means - mechanical, via photocopying,
recording, or otherwise - without the prior permission of French Institute for Research
in Africa (IFRA) and the publisher. Statements and views expressed herein are those of
the authors and not necessarily those of French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA).Contents
List of Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
Dedications. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix
Introduction
Form as a pretext for investigating urban mutations
Bernard Calas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
section one - land history
The Domestication of the Agglomeration
The Evolution of Dar es Salaam’s Peri-Urban Space during
the period of German Colonisation (1890-1914)
Franck Raimbault . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Public Housing Policies: Decentralization, government policies
and the people’s solutions
Marie Ange Goux 99
Mixity and Territoriality in a Rapidly Expanding City:
How Dar es Salaam was shaped by its Suburbs
Adrienne Polomack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125section two - managing space
Between Places and Links
Schools: facilities and places structuring urbanity in Dar es Salaam
Cécile Roy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213
Urban Transport: following the course of free enterprise
Pascal Pochet and Lourdes Diaz Olveira . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243
Towards a two-tiered city?
Lourdes Diaz Olveira And Pascal Pochet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261
Water Management: Institutional weaknesses and urban answers:
towards a new urbanity?
Valérie Messer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
section three - horizons and exchaged glances
Harbour Landscapes
Bernard Calas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315
Cultural Landscapes: Sedimentation, fusion or mutations?
Bernard Calas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341
Dar es Salaam – Zanzibar: exchanging glances
Jérémie Robert 355
Zanzibari Investments in Kariakoo
Mohamed Ahmed Saleh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 369
Confusing views: from a wealth of representations to
a “polyphonic city”
Bernard Calas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385
Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395Contributors
Bernard Calas, Geographer, Professor at Université Michel de Montaigne –
Bordeaux 3, UMR ADES-DyMSET.
Odile Chapuis, Geographer, Ingénieur d’étude CNRS, UMR
ADESDyMSET.
Lourdes Diaz-Oliveira, Economist, Director of research at Laboratoire
d’Économie des Transports de l’École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l’État,
Lyon.
Marie-Ange Goux, Political Scientist, Doctoral Fellow at Centre d’Études
d’Afrique Noire, IEP - Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
Valérie Messer, Geographer, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg.
Marie-Louise Penin, Cartographer, technician, CNRS, UMR
ADESDyMSET.
Pascal Pochet, Economist, Research Director, at research at Laboratoire
d’Économie des Transports de l’École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l’État,
Lyon.
Adrienne Polomack, Geographer, Protection Officer for the French Office of
Refugees and Displaced Persons, Course Director at Géotropiques, Nanterre.
Guilène Réaud-Thomas, Cartographic geographer, research engineer,
CNRS, UMR ADES-DyMSET.
Frank Raimbault, Historian, PhD candidate at MALD, Professor of
Historygeography.
Jérémie Robert, Political scientist, PhD candidate at Centre d’Études
d’Afrique Noire, IEP - Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
Cécile Roy, Geographer , T eaching Fellow , PhD candidate at Université Michel de
Montaigne – Bordeaux 3.
Mohammed A. Saleh, Sociologist.
Arelette Turlet, CNRS, UMR ADES-DyMSET. The French Institute for Research in Africa (Institut français de recherche
en Afrique - IFRA), established in 1980 in Nairobi (Kenya), is an organ of
research and cooperation in human and social sciences, supported by the
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its mission is to sustain and promote
scientific and academic work on eastern Africa.
Initially going by the name CREDU - centre de recherche, d’échanges
et de documentation universitaire (Centre for research, exchange and
academic documenation) the institute changed its name in 1992.
Originally based in Nairobi (IFRA–Nairobi), it gradually extended its
network. The Ibadan office was set up in 1990 and covers western Africa,
while Institut français d’Afrique du Sud (IFAS-Research), created in 1995,
covers southern Africa.
Ifra takes part in the definition and managing of research programmes
in human and social sciences, in partnership with other universities
and centres of research in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Within these
programmes, the institute offers scholarships and research grants in
addition to supporting researchers working in its area of specialization.
IFRA houses a specialised library and publishes its research results in the
quarterly journal – IFRA, Les Cahiers d’Afrique de l’Est – or in association
with French and African publishers.
For further information, contact:
IFRA – NAIROBI
P.O. Box 58480 - 00200,
Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel: + 254 (0)20 43 43 446
Fax: + 254 (0)20 43 43 052
Email: info@ifra-nairobi.net
www.ifra-nairobi.netDedicated to the memory of
Jean Hélène, Radio France Internationale journalist
Assassinated on 21 October 2003, at Abidjan,
Passionate observer of the mutations of Black AfricaIntroductionForm as a pretext for investigating
urban changes
Bernard Calas
This collection of research articles results from a conjunction between personal
concerns stemming from the conclusions of my thesis (Calas, 1998) and the
1aspirations of Bernard Charlery de La Masselière, the director of IFRA, for
the French Institute for Research in Africa.
The conclusions of my research on Kampala revealed links between Ganda
culture and urbanisation processes. The rediscovery of the cultural basis of
urbanisation processes on the one hand and the sub-regional visibility of
Swahili culture on the other orientated me towards the coast for an in-depth
study of these links. Moreover, as I also wanted to observe the dynamics of
East Africa’s spatial structuring, based on the assertion that these dynamics
were partly stimulated by influx polarization of the Indian Ocean’s two greatest
harbours, I decided to work in Mombasa or in Dar es Salaam. What part does
Swahili culture and the role of the harbour play in urbanisation processes?
Having observed that the most recent research on Dar es Salaam dated back
to 1970 (Sutton, 1970), Bernard Charlery de La Masselière then called for
multidisciplinary research to be done on the subject. What was new in Dar es
Salaam since the sixties? What mutations had taken place since then? How was
one to evaluate the impact on the city of the opposing policies which Tanzania
had followed since Independence: the socialist policies of Ujamaa between
1967 and 1985 and the liberal policies of the Structural Adjustment Program
(SAP) from 1986 onwards? Bernard Charlery de La Masselière asked me to
coordinate this study along with Ariel Crozon, a political pundit specializing
in the Swahili world, one of IFRA’s research scholars at the time.
The central aim of this book is thus to evaluate urban mutations in the
course of the last thirty years. Its title attempts to account for these mutations
by emphasizing the coexistence of two toponyms for a single space: the one
official and dating back more than a hundred years, the other recent and
chosen by the people; the one imposed by the power of the Sultan, the other
disseminated by a multitude of energetic, young neo-urban migrants,
postmodern Africans who remind you of Scapino or Rastignac; the one Arabic,
the other that is called Sheng (slang resulting from the mixture of Swahili
and English) in Kenya but not in Tanzania, a sign of the expanding world
economy enclosing the city, from the west Indian Ocean to the outside world,
1 Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique4 FROM DAR ES SALAAM TO BONGOLAND
the sign of an emerging ‘globality’. The one emphasizes harbour infrastructures
and the other, urban expanse. The one sounds like a project, the other like a
distressing, disenchanted but paradoxically voluntarist diagnosis. The former
entrusts the city to God for protection, expressing the community of Umma
and its confidence in the future, while the latter maintains that the
postmodern individual is alone and has difficulty surviving in a cruel world:
from collective faith to individual cunning, from believer to individual, from
enduring confidence to future uncertainty, from monarchic subjection to a
multi-party system, like a summary of the historical path of this city in Africa
on the shores of the Indian Ocean.
The first question we asked ourselves was whether a monograph was
justified when Philippe Gervais-Lambony’s research (amongst others)
clearly highlighted the fertile ground of comparison (1994 and 2003). For
a start, the established feround of comparison does not automatically
invalidate that of the monograph. Confronting the two approaches is not
good epistemological tactics. Indeed, “in the course of geographical research,
2monographs constitute fundamental moments ” (Brunet, Ferras & Théry,
1992) because comparisons feed on distinctive studies. Moreover, it may be
suggested that all descriptions are inevitably comparative seeing as, by means
of the concepts, notions, references and instruments mustered, a theoretical
yardstick is used, a model from which point of view the observed object is put
into perspective and thus compared. No approach is innocent; researchers
screen reality according to pre-constructions that put all monographic
descriptions into comparative perspective. Lastly, the present research on Dar
es Salaam is justified by the perspective of a broader view of urbanistic modes
and by the contours of African urbanity. It seemed equally interesting for us to
publish the results of this investigation, despite its idiographic nature.
The next question was which main theme to follow in order to answer
the two initial questions. We began with a restricted definition of a city,
considered firstly as form: a dense concretion of built-up volumes separated
by public spaces, housing a dense agglomeration of interacting men and
women. We needed to think about the link between this materiality, this
form, both constructed décor and urban choreography, Swahili culture and
political evolution. It appeared from this question that we had to reflect on the
meaning of urban form. Taking our cue from the trend for territory paradigms,
we hoped that the territorial approach would constitute an epistemological
meeting-point for interdisciplinary interests, and set out with the idea that
territories gave meaning to urban materiality (Le Berre, 1995; Roncayolo,
1990; De Méo et al., 1998). We thus decided to investigate territorialisations
at work in Dar es Salaam in an attempt to evaluate the respective roles of
Swahili culture and socialist and liberal policies on urban mutations. Seeing as
all spatial practices involve appropriation, we thought they would of necessity
2 […] la monographie est un moment nécessaire de la recherche géographique. FORM AS A PRETEXT FOR INVESTIGATING URBAN CHANGES 5
sustain territories that would give meaning to urban materiality. By definition,
the spaces constructed by urban practices had to be limited, situated in
the centre, appropriated and managed by homogeneous, highly integrated
communities: territories which would provide us with the key to the meaning
of urban forms. We implicitly assumed that behind the façade of a relatively
homogeneous city such as Dar es Salaam, according to description (O’Connor
1983; Simon 1992), we would discover a fragmented city.
One of the central ideas of this approach is that territorialisations only
come about when people frequent certain places and spaces and invest in
them. Therefore, the city had to be observed from the point of view of
these concrete places and spaces, selected on the grounds of a time-budget
analysis of certain Dar es Salaam households. The analysis indicated the
importance of certain activities or preoccupations, using particular places
in the life of the city’s inhabitants as a starting point. Places of worship,
care centres, schools and customer catchment areas, as well as public taps,
daladala stops and accommodation constituted as many localized observation
posts of urban practices and thus of integration or fragmentation processes
and of territorialisation. It was thus decided to work around these places
and to discern in what way the fact of being frequented was indicative of
territorialisation, and this from a double perspective: that of the users and
of the amenities. However, taking these places into consideration led us to
approach the question of networks and services, their management as well
as the geographical meaning of the policies applied to them. This led to a
complication of the territorial question, because the proximity of the area and
the amenities and establishment systems had to be taken into account, as well
as how the networks from which they emerged interlocked. The initial idea
was thus to highlight the internal territorialisation processes and emphasize
the fragmentation processes.
At the same time, in the tradition of the research done by Stren & White
(1989) and by Lebris (1989), we considered Dar es Salaam to be a city in crisis.
We thought that the latter was (at least partially) shaping these territorialisation
modes and, also, that it would be possible to give an account of those
mutations which had occurred between 1970 and 2000. The research thus
had to document this urban crisis, notably by means of questions pertaining
to access to housing, the supply of water and access to transport. Our theory
was that this crisis led to processes verging on urban secession, comparable to
those of territorialisation.
Our approach thus had to consider the singularity of the space under
observation as well as its historicity, all the more because we were reflecting
on the reorientation which Swahili culture and the Tanzanian trajectory had
given to so-called general urban dynamics. The importance of history in
understanding the present dynamics required that four key features relating
to Dar es Salaam’s identity be taken into account:6 FROM DAR ES SALAAM TO BONGOLAND
Its integration into Swahili civilisation, characterised by the development,
spanning some ten centuries, of an Arab system of reference; by Islam,
urbanity, the significance of maritime trade and by a remarkable ability
to incorporate novelties, especially immigrants, without losing its
foundations. The resilience of such a matrix and such cultural form lies
at the centre of this analysis;
The importance of the colonial junction, first the Germans and then the
English;
The singularity of the post-colonial trajectory, marked by the alternation
of Ujamaa and the studious application of the SAP. Certain European
intellectuals found the Tanzanian state’s singular trajectory so exciting and
later so depressing that a return trip to the Mwalimu’s country became a
necessity, all the more so as this trajectory is original as well as exemplary
of the course followed by Africa south of the Sahara. During the first
period (1964-1985), within a development framework proclaiming
itself to emanate from “African Socialism”, the political, economic and
social primacy of agriculture and of the rural world was declared over
the secondary and tertiary sectors and the urban world. In this regard,
the 1967 Arusha Declaration – the distinctly anti-urban bias of which is
recalled by a number of authors included in this volume – is very clear.
During the second period, which began in 1985 with the resignation
of Baba Wa Taïfa Nyerere, a structural adjustment of markedly liberal
inspiration was imposed on Tanzania. Were urban dynamics modified
by the succession of these two opposing orientations? and
Its functional status, since Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s economic and
cultural capital as well as the harbour of a vast hinterland (fig. 1).
How do these elements inter-react in the construction of the present-day
city, and more particularly, how does one compel, influence, modify, localize
and harness the fragmentation and territorialisation processes? How do the
dialectics of integration and fragmentation operate in Dar es Salaam? How,
within these dialectics, are the effects of Swahili civilisation articulated (the
urban crisis, especially the networks crisis, as well as the political alternation
of Socialism and Liberalism)? All in all, the central question of this project
was to discover to what extent territorialisation processes result in urban
fragmentation, our hypothesis being that they are correlated to Swahili and
Tanzanian political and cultural identities. Having followed the territories’
trail without actually delineating the theoretical contours beforehand (but
adopting an extensive meaning of the notion), we proceeded to investigate
the pursuit of an epistemological illusion, which does not mean that we came
back empty-handed. Having wandered through the landscape, the object of
which is to familiarize oneself with Dar es Salaam’s geography and to define
its forms, three directions will be explored, each of which will contribute to
giving meaning to an urban materiality revealed by the canons of academic
FORM AS A PRETEXT FOR INVESTIGATING URBAN CHANGES 7
observation. The meaning of what has been constructed lies in the logic of
its elaboration, firstly in its past and present formation, and then in the logic
of its use, in the scale of houses and neighbourhoods on the one hand and in
the networks innervating this agglomeration on the other. It also lies in the
functional and cultural horizons opening up before it and, lastly, in its ability
to mesmerize observers.
For Frank Raimbault and Marie-Ange Goux, the emphasis is on
morphogenesis: the former dissects events surrounding the German
importation and Swahili domestication of European-type land rights; the
latter emphasizes the extent to which the century was permanently marked
by policies relating to housing. In that sense, forms are more than territories:
they become histories of the land and constitute a legacy that is necessarily
anachronistic but alive, because it is still occupied and practised.
Adrienne Polomack concerns herself with residence-associated localized
practices; her starting point is the premise that access to housing and
the practices linked to that particular space constitute the pivots of an
appropriation of the land, the walls, the neighbourhood and the city. In this
sense, the housing question is central to any observer of potential territories
and their meaning.8 FROM DAR ES SALAAM TO BONGOLAND
Figure 1: Dar es Salaam, an East African gateway FORM AS A PRETEXT FOR INVESTIGATING URBAN CHANGES 9
Thanks to her mastery of the Swahili language and her involvement with
Tanzania which dates back more than ten years, Adrienne Polomack’s answer
is not only balanced, but also flawlessly firm, with the result that her text goes
beyond idiography and touches on the links between urbanity, territoriality and
acculturation. She shows how, on the one hand, it is difficult to conclude that
territorialisation exists and how, on the other, the culture, which is supposed to
give meaning to these forms, is partially informed and deformed by the forms
themselves and by the compelling practices which result from them.
The question posed within the city and beyond is how to domesticate
distance and the space between places necessary for social reproduction.
Amenities, or equipped venues to be precise (cf. the studies of schools and
taps undertaken by Cécile Roy and Valérie Messer respectively, and the
analysis of public transport stops by Pascal Pochet and Lourdes Diaz Olvera)
culminate in the residential expanse being multipolarized on different levels.
The patronized venues lead to management and extension actions, notably
(although not exclusively) constrained by the conditionality of international
sponsors (Lafargue, 2000). These actions are geographical in meaning because
they reveal the power relations that exist within the city. However, guided by
the existing circumstances, i.e. the form taken by these places and links, the
role-players do not invent the city, but innovate and contrive the inclusion
of their actions. Thus, a de facto dialectical relation is established between
form and actions, which is mediatized by the balance of power between the
role-players. This relation involves geographical constructions – G. di Méo
would probably use the term ‘socio-spatial formations’: community-based
organizations, informal transport associations, parent-teacher associations, for
example, who take charge of urban management. The question posed by this
innovative explosion, is that of the connecting link which creates a city. Is Dar
es Salaam a fragmented city or an urban archipelago?
This urban form opens onto horizons that have partially been drawn by
common ownership, logistical connections and projections, architectural
citations and cultural borrowings whose contours provide information on
the value of the site and on the way in which the role-players participate in
integrating it into the world. This “integration into the world” gives meaning
to the city as a whole. This is why I became interested in the harbour and in
the functional horizons of the wharfs on the one hand and in the cultural
markers of the public spaces on the other hand.
Lastly, Jérémie Robert and Mohammed Saleh, who both have an intimate
knowledge of Zanzibar, expound the extent to which the archipelago’s spatial,
cultural, social and political proximity is important in understanding Dar
es Salaam. Choosing to overlook this common ownership would be risking
incomprehension of the city and the islands, which would be a cowardly
system. The interplay of glances between the archipelago and the city,
interpreted as a space, is one of the keys to understanding its meaning.10 FROM DAR ES SALAAM TO BONGOLAND
With respect to our initial ambitions, we were not able to exceed certain
limits.
Initially, the research was orientated towards pluridisciplinarity. However,
individual resistance and the initial orientation, which was centred on
the processes of territorialisation, resulted in disciplinary collaborations
being fewer than expected. One historian, three political pundits and five
geographers contributed to this collection. The defection of several political
pundits, sociologists and ethnologists resulted in the admission of social and
ethnocultural groups not being carried through to a successful conclusion.
This may be considered a failure, as it is clear that the territorial contours
would have been specified had we been able to present research on the
Zaramo, the Chagga and the sailors. A religious and political dimension is also
lacking. Observing the polarities induced by attending mosques, Catholic and
Protestant churches or political infrastructures during a period of multiparty
initiation would have been very fruitful and probably conclusive in terms of
territorialisation or geographical innovation.
What is more, only three of the contributors speak a convincing form of
Swahili, with the result that they were the only ones who could truly “enter”
the mental universe of our interlocutors without mediation. One of the limits
of the undertaking is thus that it still depends too much on observation and
on the mediation of discourses pronounced in the dominating language. In
previous research (Calas, 2002) I emphasized the undeniable contribution
as well as the limits of a landscape approach. In my view, and even more so
in terms of this research, only linguistic proximity to the role-players can
give us some hope of understanding the current meaning of spatial practices.
After all is said and done, one of the limits of this research is explained by the
difficulties encountered by a researcher in France to find the time to learn a
foreign language and to add professional value to this acquired knowledge.
Another failure is the absence of Tanzanian partners. Because of a lack of
constant presence on the ground, because we refused to pay for recycling
research projects that had already been completed, because we were not able
to offer research projects which would have been interesting to Tanzanian
academics, no collaboration was secured. Significantly, I invited several
Tanzanian academics to work on urban representations and on language.
Nothing came of it. The reason is simple: such projects do not interest
international sponsors, whose preoccupations over-determine the research
orientations of our partners.
However, the conclusion of this undertaking is a source of satisfaction: it
served as training for many young researchers in this field: it was the
subject3matter of more than ten master’s degrees, three DEA’s and four doctoral
3 Diplôme d’études approfondies, a preparatory research qualification which precedes the doctorat.