Accepted paper:

Outside the enclave - middle class dreams and imaginaries on the other side of the fence in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


Stina Moeldrup Wolff (Aarhus University )

Paper short abstract:

With Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam as the main case study, the paper explores the strategy of settling in the immediate vicinity of fenced-off urban enclaves as a way of participating in and sharing perceived middle-class values and ideals.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines the responses by urban dwellers in anticipation of several large-scale urban enclave projects in Kigamboni, a district in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The specific focus is on how urban dwellers settling in the immediate vicinity to fenced-off urban enclaves seek to take part in the social imaginary of the middle-class through their proximity to the enclave area. In 2008, the Tanzanian government announced the intention to construct Kigamboni New City, a large satellite city located to the South of Dar es Salaam's city centre. Within few years, the immediate urban periphery began experiencing a construction boom, with a range of privatized large-scale housing projects mushrooming along the anticipated project boundary. Promising luxurious housing and proximity to retail and privatized education, the enclaves cater for the Tanzanian elite and rising middle-class. In addition, the land surrounding enclave construction sites has also seen an increase in value and demand. Despite the fenced-off nature of the enclave, the powerful imaginary of their exclusivity draws near urban dwellers who settle in the immediate vicinity in order to benefit from the services provided within the enclaves, as well as the flow of goods and people to the area. Based on eight months of ethnographic fieldwork, this paper explores how settling outside of these enclaves is practiced as a way of participating in and sharing perceived middle-class values and ideals. I look at how these ideals are, to an extent, mirrored in the social organization of the emerging neighborhoods that surround the enclaves.

panel Anth08
Urban enclaves and the middle class