The accidental city of Kakuma, Kenya: humanitarian urbanism and the development of the refugee camp environment

About the seminar
This seminar will explore the idea of humanitarian urbanism as a lens to understand the lives and governance of people in and around protracted refugee camps, based on extensive ethnographic research in Kakuma, Kenya. The approach builds on the suggestion of protracted camps as accidental cities, but focusses more on lifestyles and socio-economic aspects as related to a particular humanitarian governance, that expand beyond the strict camp boundaries. The perspective of humanitarian urbanism allows for a holistic socio-economic picture, moving beyond the conventional view of such camps as transitory, secluded and desolate, to demonstrate how their inhabitants, neighbours and institutions contribute to the development of much more permanent and hybrid society.

About the speaker
Dr Bram J. Jansen is assistant professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He was trained as a cultural anthropologist and lectures and publishes on humanitarian, conflict and refugee issues. In the past twelve years he has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in East and the Horn of Africa, mostly in Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan. He holds a PhD based on an ethnographic study on social ordering processes in protracted refugee situations in Kenya. His post-doc research has focused on humanitarian governance and decision-making processes in relation to insecurity in South Sudan.

Registration is not required. Refreshments will be served after the seminar.