Lunch seminar IIAS/ASC: Between Land and Sea: Secessionist Movements and an Indian Ocean Imaginary in Coastal Kenya

Nidhi MahajanThis seminar examines the rising popularity of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC), a group that has been arguing for secession of the Kenyan coast. In the face of perceived social and economic marginalization, the MRC and its members have been using multiple historical arguments to argue for secession. Based on preliminary ethnographic research in Lamu and Mombasa, joint IIAS/ASC visiting fellow Nidhi Mahajan argues that the MRC and the multiple claims that its members and sympathizers are making must not only be understood as part of a longer genealogy of coastal nationalist movements, but also that these different historical arguments gesture to the persistence of an Indian Ocean imaginary in a contemporary moment of economic and social transformation. Mahajan ultimately argues that these notions of Indian Ocean belonging are currently being reimagined, past, present, and future of the coast being contested.

This lecture has been organized together with the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS).

Lunch will be provided, but registration is required. Please use the registration form at the IIAS website.

Date, time and location

01 December 2015
12.30 - 14.00
IIAS, Rapenburg 59, Leiden
Conference Room