Garbage Citizenship: Vital Infrastructures of Labor in Dakar, Senegal.

AuthorCruz, Joshua Kohler Da

Fredericks, Rosalind. Garbage Citizenship: Vital Infrastructures of Labor in Dakar, Senegal. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

Rosalind Fredericks's Garbage Citizenship: Vital Infrastructures of Labor in Dakar, Senegal, won the Association of Global South Studies' Toyin Falola Book Award in 2019. This work explores the garbage collection struggles over government, labor value, the dignity of the working poor, and the neoliberal era of the politics of Dakar, Senegal. Fredericks's approach is unique in the field as the book bridges a cultural politics of labor with a materialist understanding of infrastructure through an ethnography of everyday infrastructures of disposals. Throughout this work, Fredericks gets challenged by Senegal's complex political landscape; however, she overcomes these obstacles by revealing the complex mix of politics that was unleashed by the neoliberal reforms that have taken place in the country. By reconfiguring neoliberalism, Fredericks peels back layers of obfuscation to urban reform and social differences caused by degraded labor. Fredericks also dissects the Set/Setal movement as a massive milestone on the neoliberal course of the country where the city mayor coopted young men and women to create a public cleaning force, which is still around today.

In chapter 1, "Governing Disposability," Fredericks details ongoing neoliberal traditions and policies regarding the garbage infrastructure of Dakar. She also makes it a point to show that the governing of waste management, or rather lack thereof, can send a strong message on what areas of the city truly matter. This theme is present throughout the book but is most strongly introduced on page twenty-eight when she writes, "Garbage workers dedicating their energies to the city's most central and elite areas... the poor periphery of the city was left to fend for itself" (28). Fredericks also introduces a periodization for the development of the infrastructure with two key moments in time. The 1988-2000 adjustments in the late socialist period and from 2000-2012 under President Abdoulaye Wade. Fredericks later goes on to show the crumbling Socialist Party giving way to a liberalization of the political landscape from 1998-2000, which led to mass public unrest and eventually the worst garbage crisis that the city has ever seen. With the election of President Wade in 2000 under the Alternance (turnover) elections, Fredericks shows that at first, life in Senegal...

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