I am an urban anthropologist and one of the organizers of this symposium, together with Paul Rabé and Xiaolan Lin. Conversations with interlocuters in Mombasa over the past five years have spurred my interest in everyday approaches to urban climate change. I am particularly struck by how changing weather patterns entrench and unsettle class, 'race' and gender fault lines, and am creating a project that will investigate the links between the weather, domestic infrastructures and urban power dynamics. My previous research in Mombasa explored how Muslims of Gujarati origin (Muslim Kenyan Asians) shape life in the city. This work addresses ‘everyday’ and expansive African urbanities, as well as Indian Ocean cosmopolitanisms, insecurity, architecture and Islam on the Swahili coast.
As part of a Wellcome Trust-funded project What’s at stake in the fake? Indian pharmaceuticals, African markets and global health, I am currently researching Covid-related fakes – fake vaccines, fake PPE, fake PCR test certificates and beyond, asking how anxieties around fakes shape pandemic life around the Indian Ocean. Building on my growing engagement with embodied or somatic approaches to social justice, part of this research will foreground bodily sensations as a lens through which to unpack the relationship between claims to fakeness and power.
I am a Research Fellow at the University of Warwick and remain affiliated to IIAS and SOAS. Beyond academia, I have worked on issues related to trade, health and food systems for various NGOs and inter-governmental organizations.