In Oxford Street, Accra, Ato Quayson analyzes the dynamics of Ghana’s capital city through a focus on Oxford Street, part of Accra’s most vibrant and globalized commercial district. He traces the city’s evolution from its settlement in the mid-seventeenth century to the present day. He combines his impressions of the sights, sounds, interactions, and distribution of space with broader dynamics, including the histories of colonial and postcolonial town planning and the marks of transnationalism evident in Accra’s salsa scene, gym culture, and commercial billboards.
Quayson finds that the various planning systems that have shaped the city—and had their stratifying effects intensified by the IMF-mandated structural adjustment programs of the late 1980s—prepared the way for the early-1990s transformation of a largely residential neighborhood into a kinetic shopping district. With an intense commercialism overlying, or coexisting with, stark economic inequalities, Oxford Street is a microcosm of historical and urban processes that have made Accra the variegated and contradictory metropolis that it is today.
“Oxford Street, Accra offers a fresh portrait of a rising African metropolis by one of the most original and skilled critics of the African condition. Deeply researched and packed with detail and bold in scope and analysis, Oxford Street, Accra is a unique addition to the growing body of work on contemporary African Urbanism. This extraordinary book shows the extent to which the future of urban theory might well lie in the global South.” – Achille Mbembe, author of Critique de la raison négre.
KEY SELLING POINTS:
- Oxford Street, Accra is a must-buy as an invaluable companion and compass for both newcomers and returning visitors to Accra.
- Oxford Street, Accra was chosen as one of the ‘UK Guardian’s 10 Best City Books of the World in 2014.’
- Oxford Street, Accra was also the Co-Winner of ‘The Urban History Association’s Top Award in the International Category For Books Published About World Cities in 2013 – 2014.’
- Oxford Street, Accra contains an encyclopedic knowledge of the City of Accra, tracing the city’s evolution from its settlement in the mid-seventeenth century to the present day.
- The book offers a microcosm of historical and urban knowledge of the making of the city that have transformed Accra into the sophisticated metropolis that is it today.