Cities like Accra or Kinshasa, Kumasi or Kisangani, can – despite all large-scale transformations – still be
characterized by the presence of small-scale appropriations of urban space. These ‘points’ / ’waypoints’ /
‘acupuncture points’ exist in time and space. They operate relationally and reactively, and induce radiating effects
with minimal gestures. Thereby, they create networks of characteristic energy levels with catalytic effects on the
urban fabric. Primarily of a commercial nature, they are located in the programmatic field between production and
Artists and architects increasingly conceptualize and apply corresponding strategies, not for commercial
purposes, but in order to generate new social and artistic space(s). They either leave behind the institutional
framework for political, economic, and ideological reasons, or create a new framework where there has been no
place for (contemporary) art and urban culture thus far. By means of (mostly small-scale) spatial, temporal, and
programmatic interventions, urban space is activated and transformed. Urban actors – artists, audiences, and
residents, respectively – are stimulated and empowered to experience and reflect their city differently.
Negotiations on urban space and urban culture of this kind can have a lasting impact on both a discursive and
physical level. Due to their contextual and net-like nature, they can even be read as tools for creating new
platforms and hybrids of local and translocal activities. These approaches can also take dynamic phenomena into
account, which is so relevant to capturing the essence of the African city – and which architecture, in the
conventional sense, as well as the Western model of the art institution, can hardly accomplish.
This presentation will not have the format of an academic paper; it is rather navigation through and narration of
imagined, existing, and future urban acupuncture[s]. The focus will be on the analysis of the work of Studios
Kabako / Faustin Linyekula in Kisangani, DR Congo.