Franziska Fay is a social anthropologist with a focus on children and youth, politics, belonging/identity and art in Swahili-speaking contexts. She was trained at SOAS, London and works in Zanzibar, along the Swahili coast and in Oman.

She is a 2017-2021 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Research Centre 'Normative Orders' at Frankfurt University, Germany.

From Oct-Dec 2020 she is a Visiting Research Fellow at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin.

Fay speaks and works in Swahili, English and German.

Fay is interested in what we can learn from children and young people about their roles and relationships with others in society, international development (especially child protection), concepts of the 'political' (like the 'state' or the 'nation'), and diasporic life and belonging (of Swahili-speakers) across the Western Indian Ocean World.


Her recent recent projects focus on how children and young people can be better protected from different forms of violence in their communities, on how to improve international development programmes that aim to contribute to this, on reform movements in the Islamic education sector, and on Swahili-speaking diasporic young people's strategies of belonging and future-making between Zanzibar and Oman.


Her interest in processes that concern and shape young people’s lives - particularly from their own perspectives - shapes her methodological approaches and has left her working largely with child-led and child-centred, 'participatory', visual/izing research tools like photography, drawing, poetry and story telling.

Fay has also worked with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and Save the Children in Germany, Malawi, and Zanzibar, and with The Risk Advisory Group and GEMS Education Solutions in the UK.

Copyright © 2019 Franziska Fay