Lucienne Attala

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Exeter U.

Grant number

Gr. 9223

Approve Date

April 8, 2016

Project Title

Attala, Lucienne Erika, Exeter U., Exeter, UK - To aid research on 'The Role of 'New' Water in Shaping and Regulating Futures in Rural Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Samantha Hurn

Approaching water as a connective material through which social, economic and ecological relationships are formed and played out, the central objective of this research is to examine the consequences of regular piped water flowing into a community that has until 2015 relied exclusively on a climatically governed water supply. In focusing on water, my broader purpose is to elucidate water’s material role in transforming lives through mapping how individuals perform and experience their relationships with water in a context where access to water is rapidly changing. My research is geographically situated in an outlying rural location in the Eastern Coastal Province of Kenya where an emergent tourist industry (and the modernization it brings) is still, overall, in nascent stages of establishment, but where creeping desertification is increasingly troubling subsistence for a group of Giriama horticultural-pastoralists. In the light of these coalescing and precipitating alterations, my research will consider how the physical materiality of ‘new’ water interplays co-creatively to shape experience, aspirations and possibilities. As such, I will both unpack the scales of discourse circulating water meanings and usage, and consider the social frameworks in which this ‘new’ water plays a key role in the shaping ideas of the future. In rejection of an exclusively human exceptionalist perspective, my aim is to foreground water so as to determine the manners in which water availability and security act to produce opportunities that in turn govern, regulate and manage human and other bodies.