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Aoki Seminar Series - Professor Bettina Ng'weno

Tuesday, October 16

King Hall, Room 1303
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Space, Race and Law in the City of Nairobi

This talk focuses on the effect of law on the spatial distribution of race and ethnicity across Nairobi. Nairobi started as a stop on the railways and developed as a segregated city enforced through a number of laws, ordinances and statues during British colonialism of Kenya.  I argue that laws with racial intent had spatial effects that resulted not only from laws concerning residency and property ownership, but also from those defining public health and security before independence and citizenship and employment and trade after independence. These same legal structures also set out the basic ethnic footprint of the city before Independence. I argue that in Nairobi it was Asian Kenyans who disproportionally challenged and respatialized race in the city producing the city of today.

For more information, please contact Nina Marie Bell at