Posts tagged ‘BIEA’

Seminar: Imagining Social Justice – Images of Obama, Culture & Human Rights in Kenya, Jul. 23 2015 @ BIEA

Nairobi Seminar Series
Imagining Social Justice: Images of Obama, Culture & Human Rights in Kenya presentation by Steve Ouma Akoth

Date: July 23, 2015
Venue: BIEA, Laikipia road Seminar Room
Time: 11.00 am – 12.30pm
Entry: Prior RSVP

This project reveals how notions of inclusion and exclusion are mediated through the images of Barack Obama and the politics of patronage in K’Ogelo, Siaya County. It examines the happenings in K’Ogelo after Barack Obama becomes president of the United States as an illustration of how culture and patronage tend to be appropriated in contemporary Kenya to define the meanings and frame the subject of human rights. The Book project explores various spaces and conjunctures where the images of Obama continue to be used in K’Ogelo and among other actors who live on the social margins of Kenya’s cities to give a cogent and systematic reading of both the cultural context and human behavior.

Find more information here

July 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

Book Launch: Kenya’s Past as Prologue – Voters, Violence and the 2013 General Election, Jun. 25 2015 @ IFRA/BIEA

Book Launch: Kenya’s Past as Prologue. Voters, Violence and the 2013 General Election,” edited by M-A. Fouéré, S. Mwangi, M. Ndeda & C. Thibon (2015)

Date: June 25, 2015
Time: 3 pm

“During the run-up to Kenya’s 2013 general elections, crucial political and civic questions were raised. Could past mistakes, especially political and ethnic-related violence be avoided this time round? Would the spectre of the 2007 post- electoral violence positively or negatively affect debates and voting? How would politicians, electoral bodies such as the IEBC, the Kenyan civil society and the international community weigh in on the elections?…The book’s centre stage tries to explore Kenya’s inescapable past and whether it would prepare the scene for a new political order.”

Published by Twaweza Communications

June 17, 2015 at 9:15 am Leave a comment

Panel Discussion: ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ Really?! Philanthropy in a time of Ebola, Feb. 13 2015 @ BIEA

Do they know it is Christmas
Date: Friday, 13 February 2015
Venue: British Institute in Eastern Africa, Laikipia Road, Kileleshwa
Time: 3.00 pm- 5.00 pm
Entry: by RSVP –

Panelists: Dr. Firoze Manji (Pan-African Baraza), Dr. Christine Sagini (Parliamentary Health Committee)
Moderator: Wangui Kimari (York University)

From the Live Aid concerts of the 1980s, and again last December, to Kony2012, large-scale aid media events and philanthropic practices and discourses have proved remarkably persistent features of global North-South relations, despite being subjected to repeated critiques from both ends of the political spectrum. For example, Bob Geldof and his colleagues, unrelenting in their production of “quick fix” mechanisms for Africa, have faced considerable criticism for the recent “Band Aid 30” song recorded and sold to raise money for international efforts to contain the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, echoing resounding criticisms of previous, similar initiatives more than two decades ago. His two word “fuck-off” message to recent criticisms illustrate the contradictions and conceit that lie behind these charities, which hark back to their genesis in the philanthropy of industrial, class and merchant Capital during the Victorian era, and appear in some respects to have endured largely unreformed since. Moreover, these aid-as-spectacle events occur concurrently and conflictingly within and alongside the effects of continuing and expanding structural inequalities and neoliberal policies, such as the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) of the 1990s, exploitative trade agreements and mineral extraction, and the militarization of the continent under the imprint of ‘security’ agendas, which emerge from the same global North-South dynamics as the new celebrity endorsed philanthropy. Enter Ebola. The recent announcement—met with relatively little fanfare on the continent—that the US would send troops to help stem the spread of Ebola, was also couched in terms of historical philanthropic practices and discourses that purport to bring “Christmas” goodwill to those in need, but in ways that arguably benefit the donor most, particularly long ailing rock stars, all the while reifying longstanding images of a savage and pathetic Africa.

Engaging with these events, our forum seeks to attend to the following questions: What imperial effects, international capital processes, stereotypes and local agency on the ground do such aid endeavours presuppose, entail, reveal, and disguise? How, and by which measure, ought we to evaluate the effectiveness, “good” or desirability of aid, particularly “celebrity aid”, this new philanthropy, as a mode of international engagement in Africa and beyond? What political opportunities for both would-be donors and recipients does this aid model, or even AID in general, open and foreclose, and at which scales, within which temporal horizons? What, then, is the way forward for “aid” on local, regional and international fronts?

February 11, 2015 at 9:05 am Leave a comment

Nairobi Forum: Experiences of Somali Women in Civic & Political Engagement, Feb. 6 2015 @ BIEA

Experiences of Somali Women in Civic and Political Engagement

Date: Friday 6 February 2015
Venue: Seminar Room, RVI Office
Location: Laikipia Road, Kileleshwa
Time: 2-5 pm

More information and registation:

February 3, 2015 at 6:37 pm Leave a comment

Seminar: Creative Tension? Administrative Justice vs Freedom to Govern in the UK, Jun. 11 2014 @ BIEA/IFRA

Creative Tension? Administrative Justice vs Freedom To Govern In The UK – By Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCMG QC Director, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law

Date: June 11, 2014
Entry: Prior Reservation [RSVP on]


Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC is Professor of Law and was the Dean of UCL’s Faculty of Laws and Head of its Law Department between 1998-2000 and again from 1982-1989. From 1994 to 1999 he was Vice Provost of UCL. He was was knighted in 2011 (KCMG) for services to human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.

The scope of Professor Jowell’s work includes judicial review, human rights and planning. He advises extensively on the drafting of national constitutions, the relationship between the UK and dependent territories, and the design and application of internal regulatory and Ombudsmen schemes. His authority as an academic commentator is reflected in many citations to his work in the judgements of courts in this country and abroad.

June 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

RWANDA UNDER THE RPF: Assessing Twenty Years of Post-Conflict Governance, May 30 2014 @ IFRA/BIEA

Date & Time: Friday, 30th May 2014, 6.00PM – 7.30PM
Venue: British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi

Panel discussion and journal special issue launch.

1. Jason Mosley (Research associate, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, and managing editor, Journal of Eastern African Studies)
2. Phil Clark (Reader in comparative and international politics, SOAS, University of London)
3. Yolande Bouka (Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, ISS Nairobi)

This panel discussion – which serves also as a launch of a special issue of the Journal of Eastern African Studies (JEAS) on the same topic – will debate the nature of Rwandan politics under the RPF and its impact on the post-genocide reconstruction process, regional relations and the well-being of everyday Rwandans.

For more information on the event, please click this link.

PS: Remember to RSVP by sending an email to

May 28, 2014 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

BIEA Seminar: Rain, Power, Sovereignty & The Materiality Of Signs In Southern Zimbabwe, Apr. 16 2014 @ BIEA / IFRA

Rain, Power, Sovereignty and The Materiality Of Signs In Southern Zimbabwe

Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014
Venue: British Institute in Eastern Africa, Laikipia Road, Kileleshwa, Nairobi
Time: 11.00 am
Entry: Prior RSVP. For more information please contact or call +254 735 260 004

Seminar by: Joost Fontein, University of Edinburgh
Chair: Sinoxolo Neo Musangi, British Institute in Eastern Africa

In 2010 a government meteorologist revealed that for much of the last decade, the Zimbabwean weather forecast had been censored on a daily basis by agents of the President’s Office. ‘This information’ he said ‘was seen as sensitive’. What this ‘sensitivity’ amounts to is the subject of this paper. It is hard to make sense of the government’s impulse to censor the weather forecast in the 2000s without reference to the localized re-configurations of authority over land and ‘re-making’ of the state that fast track land reform provoked. To the extent that fast track offered new opportunities for the realization of a diversity of localised aspirations and imagined futures that turned on access to land and fertile soils in divergent ways, the recurrent droughts and failing harvests of the early 2000s were politically significant because they called into question the legitimacy of land reform, and the broader ‘thirdchimurenga’ project constituted around it. But across Zimbabwe, and the region, rainfall and drought have long been measures of contested political legitimacy in more complex ways not limited to the politics of food, famine and agricultural production. In southern Zimbabwe, this is true not just for spirit mediums, chiefs and other ‘traditionalist’ authorities for whom rainmaking practices are well-established means of demonstrating ‘autochthony’, sovereignty and legitimacy, but also for war veterans, new farmers, government technocrats and others involved in land reform during the 2000s. This is what I examine here. Whilst I focus particularly on rainmaking practices, encounters with njuzu water spirits, and national biras that took place in the 2005-6 when research was carried out, the larger point I pursue is that water acts as an index of power – of the entangled but contested play of legitimacy and sovereignty – across many different registers of meaning and regimes of rule. In making this argument I engage with Keane (2003; 2005) and Engelke’s elaboration of Peirce’s theory of signs (1955), and build upon others (James 1972; Jedrej 1992) who have long argued that rainmaking ‘traditions’ across eastern, central and southern Africa are less a form of applied meteorology and more an idiom of politics and power, in order to argue that they are necessarily both at the same time.

April 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

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