Urban Enclaving Futures


The following is a list of core researchers and affiliated researchers to the project.

Core researchers

Austin Dziwornu Ablo

With disciplinary background in human geography, Austin draws upon relational perspectives, political ecology, political economy as well as organisational and institutional approaches to explore human-environment interactions at multiple scales. His research focuses on natural resource governance, urban studies, entrepreneurship and employment, gender and rural development. 




Bjørn Enge Bertelsen (project leader)

Bjørn is an anthropologist whose work span both the rural, peri-urban and urban and he has mostly worked in Mozambique, more specifically the cities of Chimoio and Maputo. His research intersts include the urban as a political space of contestation, state and sovereign dynamics, the mediation and impact of securitization, the re-ordering of the urban following the Anthropocene and the urban as a generative space for utopian imaginings. His books, articles and chapters have been published across a range of international publishing outlets.






Claudia Gastrow

Claudia is an anthropologist of southern Africa with research interests in urban planning, land, architecture, political belonging, authoritarianism and informality. Her most recent work has focused on how the aesthetics and materiality of design, planning and architecture have mediated understandings of the state and urban inclusion in Luanda, Angola.







Sandra Manuel

Sandra is trained as an anthropologist who works at the intersection of body, sexuality and gender studies and urban studies. Her research has focused on the privileged city dwellers in the capital of Mozambique.





Oda Eiken Maraire

With a master in social anthropology from the University of Bergen, Oda's thesis focuses on Cape Town and the relations between city spaces and people living in them. She lived in Cape Town for almost two years as an undergraduate exchange student and for her fieldwork during her master's degree, in addition to travelling in Southern Africa and living in Zimbabwe for about six months. After her studies, Oda worked as a research and teaching assistant at the University of Bergen for two years. Before starting her PhD in the UrbanEnclavingFutures project, she was involved in various projects spanning from CSR and energy studies to migration studies. 




Nolwazi Mkhwanazi

Nolwazi’s work engages with how issues relating to life course, kinship and care map onto gender, sexuality and reproduction. Her most recent project can be found here and here.








Ragnhild Overå

Human geographer with 30 years of research experience from Ghana. Thematic foci include gender, household dynamics, food markets, informal economies and the social embeddedness of entrepreneurship.





Jason Sumich

Jason is a political anthropologist who works on issues of class formation, post-socialism, the state, hegemony, citizenship and the politics of enclaving in southern Africa, primarily Mozambique. Jason holds a PhD from the London School of Economics (2006), a MA from the University of Cape Town (2001) and he has taught in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Norway and Germany. Jason’s published works have appeared in several leading academic journals. His monograph entitled The Middle Class in Mozambique: The State and the Politics of Transformation in Southern Africa, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.


Affiliated researchers

Flora Botelho

Flora is a member of the affiliated project ‘Middle Class Urbanism: An interdisciplinary study of the physical reordering of urban sub-Saharan Africa’, in which she does her PhD. Her PhD-project sets out to investigate in which ways ongoing urban trasnformations in the city produce changes in intimate social forms. Read more about her project here.





Nikolai Brandes

Nikolai Brandes is an art historian who studied Political Sciences at Freie Universität Berlin and Universidade de Coimbra. In his PhD project at Freie Universität, he looked at architectural planning in late colonial Mozambique from a transnational perspective and developed a postcolonial critique of the academic discussions around this architectural heritage in Portugal. Since 2018, he has been a postdoctoral researcher at the National Museum of Denmark. He is also part of the Middle Class Urbanism project. His current research interests include late socialist architecture in Mozambique, the transnational history of African housing cooperatives, the material and intellectual legacy of the country’s first Faculty of Architecture, and the impact of Turkish construction companies in Africa. Read more about his project here.




Kerry Ryan Chance

Kerry’s research focuses on two major topics in South Africa and the United States. One is the politics of urban ecology at the intersections of gender, race, and poverty. Another is and the cultural dynamics of climate change, particularly their effects upon differentiated bodies. Broadly, her work examines how the urban poor, living on the precarious margins often without formalized work or basic infrastructure, come to inhabit political roles that transform economic and environmental relationships. She has published multiple articles and book chapters, as well as a monograph titled Living Politics in South Africa’s Urban Shacklands.  




Randi Gressgård

Randi has worked on urban diversity politics in Malmö, Sweden. She has focused on how ideas about the future are formed through policy discourses on social sustainability and security. In her ongoing research, she focuses on the shift from modernist approaches to security (based on prediction and control) to resilience politics in area-specific prevention policies targeting “vulnerable populations”, which involve notions of the future as truly uncertain (non-calculable) and failure as inevitable.




Ole Johannes Kaland

Ole Johannes is Associate Professor of intercultural studies at NLA University College. An anthropologist by training (Phd, University of Sussex 2014), Ole Johannes has done research at the intersection between the anthropologies of China, childhood and youth, learning and education, and development. Having mostly done urban anthropology in larger cities in China, Ole Johannes is excited to bring some comparative perspectives to the Enclaving project.


Anna Mazzolini

Anna is an architect, urban planner and housing expert who has travelled and worked in Mozambique since 2004. She has strong field experience in planning policies and project management through the UN, NGO´s, and consultancies to support local governments and ethnographic research. Anna also holds a Phd in Regional Planning and Public Policies and has multidisciplinary research interests. As a postdoctoral researcher in the Middle Class Urbanism project, she deals with urban anthropology and housing aestetics in Maputo. Her interests include the relationship between personhood and house materiality, politics and urban planning, aspirations and urban models. Read more about her project here.



Morten Nielsen

Morten is a senior researcher at Denmark’s National Museum and head of the interdisciplinary research project ‘Middle Class Urbanism: An interdisciplinary study of the physical reordering of urban sub-Saharan Africa’. Based on his fieldwork in Mozambique, Scotland, and USA, he has published on issues such as urban citizenship, time and temporality, comedy, human creativity, urban aesthetics, materiality, infrastructure, and political cosmologies. Read more about his project here.




Anders Rubing

Anders Rubing is an architect and a researcher at UiB. His research has focused around the intersection between security and rights to democratic exchange in the city and how physical security affects cities and other urban systems and its users. Rubing was co-editor for the award-winning book The City between Freedom and Security that circled the themes mentioned above. His ongoing PhD project seeks to unpack how urban security- and resilience-discourses produce visions of different urban futures.