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Anxious Joburg

Editors: Cobus van Staden, Nicky Falkof
Contributors: Aidan Mosselson, Antonia Steyn, B Camminga, Baeletsi Tsatsi, Cobus van Staden, Derek Hook, Joel Cabrita, Khangelani Moyo, Lebohang Masango, Mingwei Huang, Nicky Falkof, Njogu Morgan, Renugan Raidoo, Sabelo Mlangeni, Sarah Nuttall, Sisonke Msimang

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Anxious Joburg focuses on Johannesburg, the largest and wealthiest city in South Africa, as a case study for the contemporary global south city. Southern cities are often characterised as sites of contradiction and difference that produce a range of feelings around anxiety. This is often imagined in terms of the global north’s anxieties about the south as a source of migration, crime, terrorism, disease and environmental crisis. Anxious Joburg invites readers to consider an intimate perspective of living inside such a city. How does it feel to live in the metropolis of Johannesburg? What are the conditions, intersections, affects and experiences that mark the contemporary urban?

Scholars, visual artists and storytellers all look at unexamined aspects of Johannesburg life. From peripheral settlements and the inner city to the affluent northern suburbs, from precarious migrants and domestic workers to upwardly mobile young women and fearful elites, Anxious Joburg presents an absorbing engagement with this frustrating, dangerous, seductive city. It offers a rigorous, critical view of Johannesburg, revealing the way in which anxiety is a vital structuring principle of contemporary life.