A Great Lakes Colleges Association initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Côte d’Ivoire, Rescripted

Project Statement

Côte d’Ivoire, Rescripted

This research interrogates the role of the body in the production of place and asks how one place—Côte d’Ivoire—differentially emerges from within the continuum of the lived, the experienced, and the imagined. While scholars have explored states’ discursive and symbolic dimensions, few reflect upon the centrality of interlocutors’ embodiment in such analyses. This research weaves together these concrete and symbolic dimensions of State and place through the locus of the body.

Documenting Ivorian statehood, as it is understood by Ivorians, is vital. More than 1.6 million of Côte d’Ivoire’s inhabitants are characterized as stateless or at risk of statelessness—even though many of these same people are indigenous to the land and central to its development. Over the last two decades, a series of land and citizenship reforms have been implemented to provide both its indigenous and foreign residents with land rights and legal documentation of their citizenship. Many of these reforms formally divorce the ambitions of State institutions with the everyday reality of Ivorians, who have until recently lived communally and negotiated their place in their community informally. How do members of these communities understand Ivorian Statehood? How do these understandings shift according to one’s place in the landscape, or their newfound citizenship status? What is the role of the body vis-à-vis these places and state institutions?

To explore these themes, I developed the digital storytelling platform, “Côte d’Ivoire, Rescripted.” Through this project, my students and I reconstruct the State as it is refracted through the positionality and discourse of everyday Ivorians across Côte d’Ivoire’s variegated landscape.

Listen to the Interviews

This project is in the fieldwork phase. Searchable interviews coming soon.

Additional Materials

This project is in the fieldwork phase. Links to archival materials coming soon.

Funding & Support

This project is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s Global Liberal Arts Alliance.

Explore the project

Written by

Anna E. Kensicki is a lecturer at the University of Grand-Bassam in the Department of Business and Social Sciences. She received her PhD in Politics and International Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Dr. Kensicki studies citizenship, political geography, and experiential learning with a focus on the MENA region. She is a former Palestinian American Research Center Fellow and a 2021 Fulbright Research Fellow. Her research has been published in Citizenship Studies, Journal of Palestine Studies, the Journal of Political Science Education, and the Journal of Law and Ethics of Human Rights.

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