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The Act of Living: Street Life in Urban Ethiopia

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Ethiopian Community in Britain

2a Lithos Road

London

NW3 6EF

United Kingdom

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The Act of Living: Street Life in Urban Ethiopia

Marco Di Nunzio

Born in Addis Ababa's inner city between the 1960s and 1970s, Haile and Ibrahim saw their country lift itself from a global symbol of famine and poverty into an African success story by the mid-2010s. Haile and Ibrahim also experienced changes. Growing up during economic stagnation – the 1970s and 1980s – they had learned to recognize their poverty and marginality amidst widely shared experiences of scarcity and exclusion. But as their country prospered, and high-rise steel and glass buildings began popping up in Addis Ababa's wealthier neighborhoods, marginality persisted for Haile and Ibrahim’s cohort, now with a sense of being out of tune with history.

Drawing on his book, The Act of Living, Marco Di Nunzio narrates the biographies of these two men. The Act of Living follows how they grew up, entered the street economy of hustling and crime and then tried to find ways out through labor, migration, education, entrepreneurship and the city's informal economies. It explores why development continues to fail the poor, how marginality is understood and acted upon in a time of promise, and why poor people's claims for open-endedness can constitute the grounds on which to imagine better and more just alternative futures.

Marco Di Nunzio is an anthropologist and urban ethnographer at the Department of African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham.

Doors will open at 6:00pm with complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits available.

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Ethiopian Community in Britain

2a Lithos Road

London

NW3 6EF

United Kingdom

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