Between Municipal Management and Sorcery Uses of Waste
Author / Authors:
Many city-dwellers from Garoua and Maroua, northern part of Cameroon, identify bodily excretions and discarded intimate items as tools for an instrumental sorcery, based on a continuity seen as irreducible with the body and what is rejected from it. Facing with these sorcery uses of waste, the public authorities’ position inherits from older conceptions of great accumulations of waste, seen as gathering ambivalent and versatile “forces” that can be harnessed by powerful individuals for purposes of domination and increase in wealth. Far from questioning these conceptions, the initiatives taken in 2008 by the authorities to manage garbage collection and street cleaning in both cities, with the help of a private company, induces rather a renewal of this sorcery of refuse.
Cahiers d’études africaines [En ligne], 231-232