ZKF-Arbeitsgespräche im Sommersemester 23

Anticipation by Redress: Transforming African Mega-Infrastructure Futures


Vortragende Person:

Prof. Dr. Kenny Cupers, Universität Basel


Dr. Christa Kamleithner, Prof. Dr. Anne Kwaschik

Datum: 2023-05-31


Critical scholarship has interpreted ongoing mega-projects of infrastructural expansion in Africa through the lens of colonialism. Yet analytical models of colonial continuity or the legacies of empire can lead to reductive accounts of the impact of ongoing mega-infrastructure projects on the ground. This presentation offers an alternative model, attentive to the contingent refractions of colonial relations in geographies of insurgency, dispossession, and racialization. It analyzes how inheritances of the Kenyatta era (1963-1978) inform communities’ engagement with Kenya’s ongoing Lamu Port–South Sudan–Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) development corridor project. This analysis shows how the promise of infrastructure-led development reactivates histories of displacement and forced resettlement. These reactivations orient community efforts to transform LAPSSET’s state-sanctioned future, framing anticipation as a mode of historical redress.