Translocal Connections across the Indian Ocean

Swahili Speaking Networks on the Move


The book describes the worlds where Swahili is spoken as multi-centred contexts that cannot be thought of as located in a specific coastal area of Kenya or Tanzania. The articles presented discuss a range of geographical areas where Swahili is spoken, from Somalia to Mozambique along the Indian Ocean, in Europe and the US. In an attempt to de-essentialize the concepts of translocality and cosmopolitanism, the emphasis of the book is on translocality as experienced by different social strata and by gender and cosmopolitanism as an acquired attitude.

Contributors are: Katrin Bromber, Gerard van de Bruinhorst, Francesca Declich, Rebecca Gearhart Mafazy, Linda Giles, Ida Hadjivayanis, Mohamed Kassim, Kjersti Larsen, Mohamed Saleh, Maria Suriano, Sandra Vianello.

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Francesca Declich is Associate Professor at the Università di Urbino. She has been researcher at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford, the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) at Leiden University, the African Studies Center at Northwestern University and the Center for African Studies at Stanford University. She has developed a wide experience in the Western
Indian Ocean region by carrying out research projects in southern Somalia, Tanzania and Mozambique as well as conducting research with Somali refugees in the US. She has published numerous articles, chapters and books.
Transliteration, Orthography and Acknowledgements
Translocal Relations across the Indian Ocean: An Introduction
Francesca Declich

Part 1: Translocality in the Past

1 Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Brava: A Swahili Cultural Enclave in a Somali Context
Alessandra Vianello

2 Sufism, Salafism, and the Discursive Tradition of Religious Poetry in Brava
Mohamed Kassim

3 Translocal Links and Women Slaves in Nineteenth-Century Somalia
Francesca Declich

Part 2: Vectors (Carriers) of Translocality

4 Sasa, pote, majeshi yetu duniani: Swahili Poetry and the Translocal Moment of World War ii
Katrin Bromber

5 Translocality, Texts and Discourses: Ritual Transformations of Islamic Sacrifices in Tanzania
Gerard C. van de Bruinhorst

Part 3: Reflections (Representations) of Translocal Connections

6 Local Ideas of Fashion and Translocal Connections: A View from Upcountry Tanganyika
Maria Suriano

7 Translocal Interconnections Within the Swahili Spirit World: The Role of Pemba and the Comoro Islands / Madagascar
Linda Giles

Part 4: Experiencing Translocality: Translocality from the Bottom – Translocality in Daily Experience

8 Translocal Experiences and Intersecting Mobilities: Reflections on Motility and Actual and Imagined Movability in
Contemporary Zanzibar

Kjersti Larsen

9 Skype, Facebook, and Chat Rooms: New Modes of Expression and Changing Gender Relations among
Swahili Youth at Home and Abroad

Rebecca Gearhart Mafazy

10 Integration and Identity of Swahili Speakers in England: Case Study of Swahili Women
Ida Hadjivayanis

11 Swahili Elites and the Concept of Long-distance Nationalism within the Diaspora
Mohamed Saleh

Scholars and students of the Western Indian Ocean, historians, anthropologists.