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Brakin. Brazzaville-Kinshasa. Visualizing the visible. [Paperback]

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Item description for Brakin. Brazzaville-Kinshasa. Visualizing the visible. by Maastricht Jan van Eyck Academie...

A group of scholars studied the various manifestations of public space using the example of the booming capitals Brazzavile and Kinshasa.
BRAZZaville-KINshasa, viewed as one metropolis in this study, is systematically documented through everyday phenomena such as "Architectural Manifestations of the Diamond Trade," "The UN Presence," "The River Congo," "Street Children," "Mobile Phone Advertising," "Conflicts over Property Ownership," and so on.
This visual indicators of urban identity are collected like an inventory and recorded on maps of the city that enable one to crisscross BRAKIN in one's mind.
Somewhat like an ideal guidebook, the publication is designed to help the reader through present-day BRAKIN and at the same time serve as a prototype for discussions of indicators of public space.
BRAKIN: Visualizing the Visible is a research project of the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, initiated and directed by Wim Cuyvers, with Tina Clausmeyer, Dirk Pauwels, and Kristien Van den Brande as researchers.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 4.75" Height: 10"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 12, 2006
Publisher   Lars Müller Publishers
ISBN  3037780762  
ISBN13  9783037780763  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Artists, A-Z > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Africa > Democratic Republic of Congo
3Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > General
4Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > Urban & Land Use Planning

Reviews - What do customers think about Brakin. Brazzaville-Kinshasa. Visualizing the visible.?

A good book with some faults  Feb 26, 2008
I just got this book, so I did not read it completely, just parts from it. Thought that a basic review would be good, since this will be the first :). Let's start then.

The book looks nice at a first look. It really is... however, soon you will see some mistakes. I would like to start with them. The most serious problem for me are the 'blind maps'. The authors made a lot of maps about interesting topics, like the diamond trade. They marked all built infrastructure on a map... but that map has completely nothing more. No roads, no labels nor streets... what you can see is two completely blank pages with black circles on it (those are the built infrastructures). And you have absolutely no idea where are they in the city... this is a serious fault. On this level of documentary, the minimum required quality is to make good maps, once they put them into the book. However, on the first 85 pages we are getting pretty nice coloured maps too, some of them are quite big. But all the blind maps are there in this 85, and you will see some of them once more in the middle of the book. So you will see them twice... this has completely no sense.

I found an other problem too. This is not so annoying as the first was, but still a problem. We have small pictures about the city, buildings, people. So actually you are getting a pretty good overview, I really like this. What I don't like is when you have a page with 10 pictures on it, and 1-2 are 'missing'. The explanation is there, so you can read what should be on the picture, but it is blank, you are getting nothing. I found around 10 pictures like this, all of them has the explanation 'not existent'. So probably it has been demolished, closed and so on... but anyway, if I cannot show something to the readers, then I'm not putting it into the gallery part of the book and definitely not adding a comment under it. It makes no sense.

The third problem is a very interesting one. We can read that the language of this book is english. Well, I found english, french and german sentences inside. There are two sections where you can read everyting only on french: the first is the comments part from street children, the other one is some basic description about public buildings, like the post office. There are no english translation for these. The garman part of the book is a complete mistery for me, since I'm not speaking german, so could not understood what's there. Please note that we are talking about only 2-3 pages, so it is definitely not much.

Because of these faults, I gave only 3 as a rating. 3.5 would be my true vote though. 4 is definitely too much, 3 is too low.

About the positive things :), well this book will give you a lot of enjoyable moments. If you like Congo, you will like this book too. These pictures inside are unique ones, you cannot find anything like this on the net. UN forces and buildings, city people, food and market, houses are all on the photos. Some of them are one page large, so you can examine all small details too. There is a comment at every picture, so you will know what are you watching. The book has a story part too, with full of text to read. That is interesting also.

Final overview: You should buy this book if you want to know something more about these two cities. You will get a pretty nice gallery with stories too.
Do not buy it, if you never heard about Congo. In this case you will not enjoy it. I would say some kind of african love is mandatory for a visible collection like this.

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