Making the City: The Politics and Potentiality of Urban Uncertainty in Johannesburg, South Africa

In exploring how urban residents in Johannesburg, South Africa, are engaged in the making of their city in social, cultural and architectural ways, I focus on their experiences of uncertainty, e.g. as the interplay of job insecurity and entrepreneurial potentiality, but also as processes of con –and dissensus-making.

Supervisor:Till Förster
: Manuel Herz, Sophie Oldfield


Lotte Knakkergaard Nielsen is a PhD fellow at the Institute of Social Anthropology and in the Urban Studies department at the University of Basel. Lotte took her B.A. and M.Sc. in Anthropology at Aarhus University, Denmark. To collect data for her master thesis, she lived in Detroit for 4 months in 2014 focusing on decaying infrastructure and community self-reliance practices.

Throughout her studies, Lotte has been engaged in various projects both concerning urban studies and food studies, experimental ethnography and ethnographic exhibition. In 2015, she took part in creating an exhibition about the harbour site in Aarhus, Denmark. She is also the planner of a podcast series about the aesthetics and sensorial experience of food.

In her PhD, Lotte will be focusing on urban, social practices and experiences of uncertainty that form the city of Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa.

Further information:



Lotte Knakkergaard Nielsen
Ethnologisches Seminar
Münsterplatz 19
4051 Basel