Paper by Enslev, Mirsal and Winthereik accepted for publication in Energy Research and Social Science

The paper “Anticipatory infrastructural practices: The coming of electricity in rural Kenya” by research assistant and cand.mag Lea Enslev, ethnographer and Lykke Mirsal and Professor Brit Winthereik has been published by Elsevier Energy Research and Social Science.

The paper explores how the extension of the national electricity grid in a village in rural Kenya affects households’ energy using practices. Based on ethnographic research, this paper examines how people act while anticipating electricity as well as what energy practices emerge as part of life with a partial presence of electricity infrastructure.

Chalk drawing of electricity socket
Prepatory action: Chalk drawing of placement of electricity socket

The making of electricity infrastructures through anticipatory actions has not yet been subject to research, but as the article argues, it is precisely by acquiring competences like stacking of resources or adjusting to breakdowns and volatile electricity prices that energy infrastructures are composed.

By leveraging the notion of anticipatory infrastructural practices the main contribution of this article is to enrich the understanding of participatory politics to also encompass mundane actions related to energy distribution and use. This is relevant in anticipation of a future where a dramatically higher number of people will become grid connected.