Known as highly mobile cattle nomads, the Wodaabe in Niger are today increasingly engaged in a transformation process towards a more diversified livelihood based primarily on agro-pastoralism and urban work migration. Space, Place and Identity: The Wodaabe of Niger in the 21st Century (Berghahn Books, 2020) by Florian Köhler examines recent transformations in spatial patterns among the Wodaabe, notably in the context of urban migration and in processes of sedentarization in rural proto-villages. “Space, Place and Identity” analyses the consequences that these recent changes entail for social group formation and collective identification, and how these also impact the integration of the Wodaabe into wider society among the structures of the modern nation state.

Maggie Freeman is a PhD student in the School of Architecture at MIT. She researches uses of architecture by nomadic peoples and historical interactions of nomads and empires, with a focus on the modern Middle East.

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