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Jahn, Eileen

BIGSAS Junior Fellow Eileen Jahn

Research Interests:

Infrastructures, Coloniality of Power, Knowledge and Being, Decolonization, Social Movements, Anthropology of Ethics, Critical Urbanism

Geographical Area:

South Africa

Current Project:

“Ugesi Ngowethu”: Politics of Access to Electricity Networks in South Africa ­– A Case Study of the City of Johannesburg

The Ph.D. project’s objective is to explore the politics of access to electricity networks as they are mobilized around struggles for electricity by undersupplied and precariously connected poor urban residents. The main focus rests on the experiences and knowledges employed by them through strategies of non-payment, self-connection, manipulation, and destruction of electricity infrastructures in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. Thinking from and with the positions of people at the margins of the electricity network yields three key insights: (1) what electricity comes to signify for the residents; (2) what (un)fulfilled promises, expectations, and grievances residents assemble as parts of the demand for equitable, affordable and reliable access to electricity in South Africa; and (3) how current struggles and practices around the electricity undersupply relate to historical experiences and strategies resisting colonial power.


Further information (CV and conference contributions)

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