On bundling: the aesthetics of exchange and growth in central Uganda

Sandra Calkins*, Tyler Zoanni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In central Uganda, even a casual observer would notice the widespread presentation of often identical commercial services and goods–fruit vendors, street food or motorcycle taxis, for instance–in a small shared area. This article brings the dynamics of this phenomenon into view under the heuristic rubric of 'bundling', reflecting both on diverse examples from present-day Kampala and on some of the phenomenon's historical and linguistic scaffolding. We take this phenomenon seriously as an alternative form of socio-economic exchange and growth, one that is distinct from liberal and neoliberal imaginaries of an unlimited flow of goods, people, things and services. Bundling, we argue, reflects an aesthetics in which both material value and social relationships are imagined to arise through thickenings of persons and things, assembled and ordered in spatial proximity and symmetry. The article suggests that bundling offers conceptual resources to imagine growth otherwise, as a process unfolding in ways that complicate and clog conventional economic imaginaries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-392
Number of pages22
JournalAfrica
Volume93
Issue number3
Early online date19 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • growth
  • degrowth
  • Uganda
  • aesthetics
  • UT-Hybrid-D

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