Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Jakarta, Drawing the City Near

2014
Author:

AbdouMaliq Simone

Jakarta, Drawing the City Near

Explores urban change between the superblock and the slum in contemporary Jakarta, Indonesia

AbdouMaliq Simone illustrates how the majority of Jakarta’s population, caught between intense wealth and utter poverty, handles confluence and contradictions in their everyday lives. Exploring how inhabitants from different backgrounds regard each other, how they work together or keep their distance in order to make the city endure, he offers a powerful new way of thinking about urban life.

It is increasingly becoming clear that cities live by multiple logics and modes of existence, defying essentialist or totalizing encapsulations. Yet, the tools to get close to the living, changing, plural city remain far from adequate. In this engrossing book on Jakarta, AbdouMaliq Simone takes a giant step forward by offering a set of mid-range concepts and a writing style that uncover the structured and improvised recursions of the world's mega-cities. An essential and exciting read.

Ash Amin, University of Cambridge

Jakarta, a city rife with disparities like many cities in the Global South, is undergoing rapid change. Alongside its megastructures, high-rise residential buildings, and franchised convenience stores, Jakarta’s massive slums and off-hour street markets foster an unsettled urban population surviving in difficult conditions. But where does the vast middle of urban life fit into this dichotomy? In Jakarta, Drawing the City Near, AbdouMaliq Simone examines how people who comprise the largest part of the population, such as the craftsmen, shopkeepers, and public servants, navigate and affect positive developments.

In a city where people of diverse occupations operate in close proximity to each other, appearance can be very deceptive. Familiar with this place that on the surface seems remarkably dysfunctional, Simone guides readers through urban spaces and encounters, detailing households, institutions, markets, mosques, and schools. Over five years he engaged with residents from three different districts of the city, and now he parses out the practices, politics, and economies that form present-day Jakarta while revealing how those who face uncertainty manage to improve their lives.

Simone illustrates how the majority of Jakarta’s population, caught between intense wealth and utter poverty, handles confluence and contradictions in their everyday lives. By exploring how inhabitants from different backgrounds regard each other, how they work together or keep their distance in order to make the city in which they reside endure, Jakarta, Drawing the City Near offers a powerful new way of thinking about urban life.

Jakarta, Drawing the City Near

AbdouMaliq Simone is research professor at the University of South Australia. He is the coeditor and author of several books, including Urban Africa: Changing Contours of Survival in the City and City Life from Jakarta to Dakar: Movements of the Crossroads.

Jakarta, Drawing the City Near

It is increasingly becoming clear that cities live by multiple logics and modes of existence, defying essentialist or totalizing encapsulations. Yet, the tools to get close to the living, changing, plural city remain far from adequate. In this engrossing book on Jakarta, AbdouMaliq Simone takes a giant step forward by offering a set of mid-range concepts and a writing style that uncover the structured and improvised recursions of the world's mega-cities. An essential and exciting read.

Ash Amin, University of Cambridge

AbdouMaliq Simone provides a bridge between Deleuzian techniques and ethnographic account of different places in Jakarta. Jakarta thus is not subsumed under particular theories; instead the city itself is a theory—a way of thinking, a way of living. The text itself is a city like Jakarta that offers no comfortable vantage point, but unplanned pathways that often lead, fortunately, to surprising scenes and inspiring commentaries.

Abidin Kusno, University of British Columbia

Jakarta, Drawing the City Near

Contents

Preface

Introduction: Rehearsal for an Urban Commons in Jakarta

1. The Near-South: Between Megablock and Slum
2. The Urban Majority: Improvised Livelihoods in Mixed-up Districts
3. Devising Relations: Markets, Streets, Households, and Workshops
4. Endurance: Risking the Familiar
5. Inventive Policy: Integrating Residents into Running the City

Conclusion: Reimagining a Commons

Bibliography
Index