03/2023 - ongoing

Lamu, Kenya

Critical Urbanisms
Lamu Youth Alliance

The ongoing implementation of the LAPSSET (Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport) Corridor Project, one of the largest infrastructure projects in Africa, raises new questions and important debates about the urban and ecological future of Lamu, Kenya.

These debates bring up both ancient and recent histories—about Lamu’s past as an important node of Indian Ocean trade and historical injustices since Kenyan independence.

The future development of Lamu may hinge on how this inheritance is mobilised to negotiate local people’s stake in plans and projects from elsewhere.

To grasp the Lamu yet to come, our work focuses on the perspectives, experiences, and aspirations of those inhabiting and transforming Lamu today.

It is in their everyday lives and memories that we anchor important questions about heritage, development, security, and mobility.

This collaborative research project is organised by Prof. Dr. Kenny Cupersfrom the Critical Urbanisms program at the University of Basel, in close collaboration with the Lamu Youth Alliance and with the support of the Shungwaya Welfare Association, Lamu Museums, Sites and Monuments (NMK), Lamu Women Alliance, and Save Lamu.
The project brought together eight students from Basel and eight researchers from the Lamu Youth Alliance to work for six weeks, between 25 March and 4 May 2023.

Thank you to the other students from the Palermo track, for the thinking together across geographies.

Researchers: Ruth Lozi, Ahmed Adhan, Ambarin Sultana, Hajj Shee, Aziz Ali Shiekh, Florence Alder, Gadsiah Ibrahim, Maeva Yersin, Nancy Wachira, Nasir AbuBakr, Tanja Meier, Cristina de Lucas, Nasba Mohamed, Amina Omar, Munib Rehman, Isabella Pamplona.
Organizers: Walid Ahmed, Abdul Hazeez Isaak, Nora Naji, Kenny Cupers
Web Design: Isabella Pamplona
Content Editing: Munib Rehman and Kenny Cupers
Data Management: Gadsiah Ibrahim