As the U.S.-led ‘War on Terror’ expands across the African continent, the intimate everyday space of the home is increasingly folded onto the battlefield. Drawing on ethnographic research in the Kenyan cities of Nairobi and Mombasa, this talk will explore how the governing intrusion into the homeplace-- -through police raids, arrests, and aerial and telecommunications surveillance—constitutes subjects and structures social and political relationships. Traumatic events related to the homeplace have implications for our understandings of material infrastructures as repositories for meaning, as well as for the home’s relationship to race and empire-- -made poignantly visible in the 2016 film, ‘Eye in the Sky,’ in which Euro-American drone strikes are rationalized not only as legal, but as ethical and necessary. The so-called terror suspect’s home is a space where geopolitical knowledge circulates with a certain urgency, as family members and visitors relay the latest information about the scattered hegemonies of the counter-terror apparatus, and about the ongoing search for missing kin.

 

© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766