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Ecomedia in Urban Kenya

Understanding Youth-Led Environmental Awareness, Action & Activism

With a perspective grounded in digital ethnography and media anthropology, my PhD research aims to understand the role of online ecomedia in creating climate change and environmental degradation awareness, urgency, and action in urban Kenya. In recent years, there has been a strong academic focus on climate change youth activism in the Global North, yet little attention has pivoted towards the Global South. As youth-led climate change movements abound – across the global stage – greater research is required to understand youth perceptions, involvement, and activism within different African contexts. By focusing on Kenya, this project hopes to partially address the gap in our understanding of Africa-based youth-led climate change movements and their use of ecomedia online. Through digital discourse analysis, in-depth interviews, and participant observation with youth-led NGOs in Nairobi and Mombasa, I plan to unpack the information and ideologies presented on social media platforms, online publications, and NGO websites. Through this inquiry, I hope to gauge how local and global environmental narratives intersect and diverge; how Kenyan climate change/environmental content is received and engaged with; and if/how the online dissemination of ecomedia leads to tangible action.  

Doctoral Candidate: Amber Caine

I am a PhD candidate at KU Leuven, focusing on online ecomedia ­– production and reception – in urban Kenya, under the supervision of Prof. Katrien Pype (KU Leuven) and co-supervision of Prof. Cajetan Iheka (Yale University). My academic background is primarily in anthropology. I received my Bachelor of Social Science in Social Anthropology and Gender Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in 2014. More recently, I completed my Honour’s and Master’s degrees in Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, in 2021 and 2023 respectively. My Honour’s research focused on microblogging South African mothers’ ‘public’ presentation of ‘private’ experiences. My Master’s research explored South African student narratives of remote university education during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting what was learnt through upheaval and adaptation. Following my interest in online engagement, my PhD research will examine the interplay between the presentation of ecomedia online and environmental action.

Meet The Team

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Amber Caine

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, KU Leuven


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Katrien Pype

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, KU Leuven

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Cajetan Iheka

PhD Candidate



Centre National de Coopération au Développement

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