Civil Disobedients

There is an unprecedented scale of urbanisation in Lusaka, a feature of cities across the region. Citizens are largely engaged in informal activities and recent studies have attributed approximately 50% of Zambia’s GDP to activity within the informal economy. This comes at a time of global environmental change with phenomenal demands on resources.The informal sector is a site of contradiction. Amongst its sites of operation, there is evidence of ingenuity and inventiveness, opportunities for social, security, employment and the horizontal distribution of wealth and practices of circular metabolism in the recycling and reuse of resources in the city. There is also evidence of violence, outbreak of disease, competition, social harassment and insecurity. 

These photographs document one manifestation of the informal in downtown Lusaka. Ad hoc roadside stalls offering products and services, from tyre repair, hair styling to live chickens, are vital sites in Lusaka's urban metabolism. These sites, and their potential to offer socially and ecologically beneficial alternatives to the dominant means of occupying the city, are the subject of a larger body of research I have been developing into alternative ways of envisioning futurescapes for African cities.