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Public Things, Excremental Politics, and the Infrastructure of Bare Life in Ghana’s City of Tema

Summary of Article , 2014

In this article, Chalfin examines the public toilet and sewerage systems of the planned city of Tema. The article argues that the waste and municipal infrastructure of the city are informed by public political practices that determine “the right to the city”, a theory first proposed by Henri Lefebvre to describe the demands people make to accessing an urban life. Public toilets as “public things” are a good example of how a demand for individual rights extends to more common, shared or public liberties and motivate people to make collective political demands.