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Travelling While Black: Race, Migration and Identity with Nanjala Nyabola and Yousra Elbagir

Nanjala Nyabola offers thoughtful and original reflections on migration, race and identity from an African woman abroad

At this point in history we are witnessing the highest levels of migration on record. About 258 million people, or one in every 30, were living outside their country of birth in 2017. But whatever an individual’s reason for travel the experience tends to vary greatly depending on the colour of the traveller’s skin.

In November 2020, writer and political analyst Nanjala Nyabola came to Intelligence Squared to discuss her new book Travelling While Black and offer thoughtful and original reflections on migration, race and identity from an African woman abroad. She will speak of her experiences exploring the world, from working with migrants crossing the Mediterranean to confronting how tourism is often exclusively designed for white people. Drawing from her experiences in places including Nepal, Botswana, Sicily, Haiti, New York and Nairobi, Nyabola asks tough questions and offers surprising, shocking and sometimes funny answers. The event was hosted by award-winning journalist Yousra Elbagir.



Nanjala Nyabola

Kenyan writer, political analyst and activist

Writer, political analyst and activist based in Nairobi, Kenya. She writes extensively about African society and politics, technology, international law and feminism for academic and non-academic publications. She is the author of books including Travelling While Black and Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era Is Transforming Politics in Kenya. She held a Rhodes Scholarship at the University of Oxford in 2009 and in 2017 was among the inaugural cohort of Foreign Policy fellows and a Logan Nonfiction Program Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good.

Yousra Elbagir

Award-winning journalist

Award-winning journalist whose work has featured on HBO, Channel 4, BBC Africa, BBC Radio 4, CNN, The Financial Times and The Guardian. She is well known for her coverage of the 2019 Sudanese Revolution and for having launched the #SudanUnderSanction online media campaign in which Sudanese women and men discussed the effects of trade sanctions against the country.


Speakers subject to change.