3 Feb 2022 17:00 - 19:00 Online


An event organised by the In War’s Wake: Mobility, Belonging, and Becoming in the Aftermath of Urban Conflict research network .

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Roundtable Speakers

  • Rachel Sittoni (PhD Candidate in Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge)
  • Lucy Wambui (Mathare Social Justice Centre, MSJC)
  • Francis Mutunge (Social Justice Center, Ruaraka)
  • Patrick Mutahi (PhD student, University of Edinburgh and Research Fellow, Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies)
  • Naomi Van Stapele (Lector in Inclusive Education at the Centre of Expertise Global & Inclusive Learning, Hague University of Applied Sciences)


How is urban violence connected to struggles for liberation and freedom from state surveillance and death? How can we examine the concept of ‘urban conflict’ through an exploration of ‘urban violence’ broadly conceived? This activist-academic roundtable will explore issues of urban violence and state surveillance through the visions and struggles against police violence in Mathare, one of Kenya’s largest and oldest informal settlements. These movements militate against state violence meted against the most vulnerable urban denizens and the struggle for liveable lives in precarious circumstances.

About the speakers

Rachel Sittoni is a PhD Candidate in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge where her research concerns youth politics, in particular the ways that youth feature in political change in Africa. Often, such change is mediated by increased violence and insecurity, which is followed by violent policing that targets youth. Focusing on urban slums in Kenya, her research hopes to understand how the securitization of youth affects youth engagement as citizens and their broader status in society. She received her BA in Political Science from the University of Nairobi and her MSc in Security, Leadership and Society from King’s College London. She is also an alumna of the ALC Peace Security and Development Fellowship programme for African Scholars.

Lucy Wambui will represent the Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC), an initiative by young members of the community to promote social justice in Mathare. For years Mathare has been a place where much violence has been allowed to go on without any redress for the community, especially as most continue to live in fear of the consequences of standing up for their rights. These forms of structural violence include, but are not limited to, land grabbing, forced evictions, police abuse and extrajudicial killings, political impunity and other economic, social and psychological violations.

Francis Mutunge will share his work with the Ruaraka Social Justice Center which is based in Ruaraka and advocates for ecological justice, good governance, political and socio-economic rights, police accountability on EJEs, brutality and arbitrary arrests, anti-human trafficking and forced labour, child rights and a community free of sexual and gender-based violence.

Patrick Mutahi is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh and Research Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies.

Dr Naomi Van Stapele is Lector in Inclusive Education at the Centre of Expertise Global & Inclusive Learning at the Hague University of Applied Sciences. She has written extensively on questions of violence, masculinity, and bordering in Mathare.

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