Wangui Kamonji

GESA 2018 participant


Region Kenya


I have studied Environmental Studies and Urban Studies at the undergraduate level, and conducted research with a transdisciplinary lens on diverse environmental issues including lead poisoning, historical environmental changes in Nairobi, environmental conflict and the role of design in solving urban waste challenges.

With the conviction that the environment is all that enables our lives and not only ecology, I undertook a year of travel and research in cities in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, South Africa and Tanzania to find out how people, especially those considered low-income and seemingly therefore at odds with care for the environment, deal with environmental challenges alongside socio-economic ones. I began a blog to document the inspiring stories of holistic activism by individuals and groups that I encountered in my travels. I continued my research in the environmental and socio-cultural realms at home in Kenya, to unearth our hidden stories of environmental initiatives, and reimagine and revalue traditions related to the environment for the present and future.

My current research is on building African environmental movements through African ways of being and knowing. I am exploring how changing how we learn and creating alternative spaces of learning which reprioritise the first educator – the environment – and regenerative skills can restore connections to culture, histories and the earth. To this end, I use my dance, blogging, fiction and poetry writing, and facilitation alongside my academic research to create spaces of diverse learning that will ensure present and future generations have a different relationship with themselves, each other and with the earth.

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