Living with Ruins: Workshop on Future-Making amid Rubble and Debris

By: Uroš Kovač

A collaborative group of postdoctoral researchers from Kenya and Germany explored the unfulfilled promises of infrastructural prosperities and how contemporary Kenyans are reconstructing their futures within these ruins.

The workshop titled: “Living with Ruins: Future-making and Infrastructuring in Contemporary Kenya,” took place on 6th March 2020 at the British Institute of East Africa, in Kenya discussed how the suspension and waithood in the ruins of modernity are frustrating and restrictive for contemporary Kenyans, but unexpectedly influencing how they are imagining their future.

Their work focuses on how various actors participate in long-term processes of ruination, as well as how people actively reconstruct their futures among the rubble of once-promising but failed or suspended projects. Their presentations show that modernist projects on the surface promise linear progress, but in reality, leave many ordinary Kenyans in suspension or waithood. Attention to how Kenyans’ lives unfold in the ruins of these projects reveals the modernist promise of linear progress as a myth.

Click here to download the full outcome report of the workshop.

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