Conversation with Nanjala Nyabola

For each episode, our guest will be asked to choose five pieces or items that have influenced their intellectual life and their work. These five items can be books, art, music, poetry, photographs, performance, a person, an event, or an experience. The choices then become the basis of a free-flowing conversation that discusses our guest’s life, their personal, political and intellectual journeys and histories. At the end of the programme, our current guest will nominate the person to be interviewed next in the series making this podcast an exercise in serendipity and an intellectual history of a new generation of writers/ scholars/ artists and activists.

This week, Suchitra Vijayan spoke to Nairobi based writer and independent political analyst Nanjala Nyabola. Her academic work focuses on global conflict, refugees and migration, as well as political transitions in Africa. She holds a BA in African Studies from the University of Birmingham, an MSc in African Studies and one in Forced Migration, both from the University of Oxford, and a JD from Harvard Law School. Her work has appeared in publications including Foreign Policy, The Guardian, Al Jazeera and African Arguments.

Nanjala choose:

1. Edward Said’s “Representations of the Intellectual” and Steve  Biko’s”I Write What I Like’.

2. On Travel, where she says ” Also learnt what this body is capable of withstanding and what the heart is capable of perceiving that the mind might not understand, like kindness, altruism, and the very fluid idea of home.”

3. Study

4. Activists and organisers

5. The internet

Nanjala was nominated by Paris based photographer and filmmaker Roopa Gogineni and she elected Dutch academic and scholar Naomi van Stapele

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