For four decades I have worked with practices of social interchange, technical arrangements, local economy, and the constitution of power relations that affect how heterogeneous African and Southeast Asian cities are lived. I have worked on remaking municipal systems, training local government personnel, designing collaborative partnerships among technicians, residents, artists, and politicians.
Above all, the focus of these efforts has to been to build viable institutions capable of engaging with the complexities of life across the so-called “majority world.” My work deals with a multiplicity of propositions and capacities for relationships that remain untapped in popular districts across urban Asia and Africa, even though they are deployed everyday. This is not a matter of celebrating the informal; it is not a matter of the subaltern getting their due. This is discovering the incipient formation of new cities and urban regions in the intricate relational meshes of how things get done, a city and region that are more inclusive and which maximize the resourcefulness of their inhabitants, that suggest new ways for institutions to concretely connect with their constituents, and for the practices of residents to inform the operations of those very institutions.
- Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship, New York University, 1999-2000
- Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, University of the Western Cape 1990-91
- William Lim Siew Wai Fellowship in Cultural Studies in Asia, National University of Singapore, 2014
- Simone, A. (2004), For the City Yet to Come: Urban Life in Four African Cities. Duke University Press
- Simone, A. (2004) People as Infrastructure. Public Culture 16(3): 407-429
- Simone, A. (2022) The Surrounds: Urban Life Within and Beyond Capture. Duke University Press
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.