# 建筑代写|建筑史代写Historical and Cultural Developments of Cities and their Architecture代考|ARC1720

## 建筑代写|建筑史代写Historical and Cultural Developments of Cities and their Architecture代考|Alternative Genealogies

If we move further back in reconstructing cement genealogies of sub-Saharan Africa, we will encounter other, earlier examples of cement plants that were perceived by colonial powers as a necessary metainfrastructure of large colonial investments, especially in the domain of transport infrastructure. From 1909 to 1913 , the German firm G. Polysius drew up plans for a cement production site at Pongwe in German East Africa (nowadays Tanzania). The plans include a limestone quarry, the cement factory with surrounding housing facilities for the European personnel, and two railway stations. In preparation, the firm’s engineers thoroughly mapped the topography of the terrain, as well as the lime and clay deposits meticulously. Had it been erected, the Pongwe facility would have been among the first cement plants in sub-Saharan Africa, apart from three plants in Southern Africa, namely Pretoria Portland Cement Company, established in 1892, and Premier Portland Cement Company of Bulawayo, and Blue Circle Cement Ltd. Company established in South Rhodesia in 1913 and 1914, respectively.

German colonial officials deemed the location of the Pongwe to be crucial both for the construction of the railway and the extension of the nearby harbor in Tanga. By 1891, the stations “Steinbruch” (stone quarry) and “Pongwe” had already been constructed along the line, and were among the first to be established. Meanwhile, the firm of G. Polysius had already established itself as a specialized global player prior to World War I. However, in Pongwe it faced competition from Vogtländische Plantagengesellschaft, an export agriculture operation aiming to expand its operations through production of construction materials. Both companies aimed to acquire plots between the Steinbruch and Pongwe stations, where a disused limestone quarry already existed. After a flurry of correspondence between G. Polysius headquarters in Dessau and the colonial government, the company managed to secure a concession in 1910. Under the terms of this “public-private-partnership,” the colonial government and the company constructing the railway, Koloniale Eisenbahn-Bau-und Betriebsgesellschaft, were allowed to acquire limestone and other mineral products of the quarry. The pleas of the second firm were purposely ignored by the colonial bureaucracy.

However, correspondence between the owner of the enterprise from Dessau, Otto Polysius and his notary in Dar es Salaam, reveals that rapid construction had never been the company’s intention. On the contrary, the aim was to postpone the investment for as long as possible in order to gather sufficient capital and stocks. The only reason for hasty bidding was to outplay the competitor, Vogtländische Plantagengesellschaft. But now faced with an unfeasible schedule, the contract was still unfulfilled in 1913, and the German cement plant in East Africa never came into being. While a cement plant would eventually be erected in the same location, this case clearly demonstrates how the territories of colonial expansionist planning were simultaneously sites of speculation for capitalist firms, whose ambitions surpassed national boundaries and constraints, extending into colonial territories. $^{13}$

## 建筑代写|建筑史代写Historical and Cultural Developments of Cities and their Architecture代考|Materializing Infrastructure

It is only recently-following the material turn in social sciences-that Ferro’s Marxist approach to the production processes of architecture has gained momentum. His attention to material production has found its way into architectural history and theory through several sources, including: urban and construction historians interested in social aspects of the construction site; anthropologists and sociologists investigating the processes of building; and insights from science and technology studies applied to built environments. ${ }^{17}$ Throughout our chapter, we have aimed to show how this material approach is even more important when studying infrastructure. Without an anchoring in material conditions, infrastructure is all too often recruited into success stories of ‘progress’ and ‘global modernity.’ This is particularly the case in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. Since stories of ‘successful’ infrastructural projects are often part of the ammunition for colonial apologetics or neo-colonial thinking, debunking this myth of undivided success is even more important here than elsewhere.

In this chapter, we have challenged the success stories of cement production in sub-Saharan Africa, through inverting their chronology and investigating a wide variety of sources. Taking the materialities of infrastructure into account, a nuanced picture emerges, encompassing different sets of actors such as laborers, indigenous craft practitioners, on-the-ground engineers, and construction managers, all engaged in ambiguous interdependencies with and independence from (post-)colonial powers. While the former Belgian and German colonies are only two of numerous possible sites for investigation, what has become clear is that histories of infrastructure grounded in overdetermined and unilinear narratives of progress must give way to a range of other stories-to local alternatives, indigenous knowledges, false starts, and dashed dreams.

What also becomes visible in our examination of cement as meta-infrastructure are different geographies and scales, revealing how intertwined production and commodity chains functioned throughout the twentieth century, establishing transnational connectivity much earlier than the 1970s “shock of the global” period.

Finally, this approach enables us to observe different temporalities, defined not only by ruptures but also by important continuities. These vectors of obdurance and change not only arise out of supposed path dependencies but are simultaneously rooted in the local landscape. As cement production is dependent on the (local) supply of raw materials such as lime (a rare mineral in many parts of subSaharan Africa) and clay, it is no surprise that we are dealing with a spatially fixed industry, with all the vagaries that come with real sites and places. If a location for a cement plant was chosen at the beginning of the twentieth century, it is not only very probable that the plant still exists there nowadays, but it is even very likely that these locations echo the locations of pre-colonial lime burning sites. Thus, in so many ways the history of cement as a material opens up a view of infrastructure not only as a finished object or network, but also as an assemblage of inputs unevenly distributed, episodically planned, haphazardly extracted, and politically embedded, all with varying degrees of failure and success.

# 建筑史代考

## 建筑代写|建筑史代写Historical and Cultural Developments of Cities and their Architecture代考|Materializing Infrastructure

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