info for participants


The international research platform Kompreno organizes an interactive research seminar revolving around Nairobi’s middle class. The event will be held from September 28 to October 3, 2015 at the French Institute of Research in Africa (IFRA) in Kilaleshwa, Nairobi.

Employing a multidisciplinary approach, we will stimulate exchange between various stakeholders with the aim of developing a comprehensive understanding of the middle class in contemporary urban Kenya. Scholars and  students from Kenya and abroad, local politicians and policy makers, as well as artists, journalists and the interested public are all encouraged to participate.

The interactive research seminar consists of two interrelated pillars:

Lectures and roundtables - Middle Class and Class Mobility in Nairobi: During lectures and roundtables, Kenyan and foreign experts from various disciplinary backgrounds will provide stimulating input aimed at unpacking the complexities of the notion of the middle class. While focusing primarily on Nairobi, we will also be touching on comparable or related case studies, on the national, continental, and international levels. These interdisciplinary sessions are intended as a platform for mutual exchange of ideas, and as such, questions and input from the audience will be encouraged.

Fieldwork-based projects - The Spatial Practices of a Fluid Middle Class: participants have the opportunity to carry out minor research projects in one of several neighborhoods of Nairobi, as determined by the participants themselves in agreement with the organizers. The students will have several full days to carry out their field work investigation in the city and additional time to process their data and prepare their presentations. Knowledge stakeholders and event organizers will give feedback on the research projects on two occasions (mid-term and final presentation). The results of this empirical fieldwork will be presented to a panel of experts, and the very best presentations will be considered for a publication.