“Urban Now: City Life in Congo” is a traveling exhibition of sixty-three large-scale color photographs and two video installations that builds upon Suturing the City: Living Together in Congo's Urban Worlds, a 328-page book with text by Filip De Boeck and photography by Sammy Baloji (De Boeck and Baloji 2016). On their own and as a unit, “Urban Now” and Suturing the City constitute one of the more insightful recent interventions on cityscapes of the global “South.”

At the core of the show and book is a determination to think about cities in ways that actively displace “North”-centric visions of urbanism. Both undertakings cast aside overarching, panoptic views typical of gazes intent on classifying spaces, people, and practices the better to order and rule them. In their stead, approaches are privileged that foreground complexity, overlap, and uncertainty.

In both the book and the exhibition, pride of place...

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