SeaM: Security at the Margins

Elsa Oliveira, S. J. Cooper-Knock and Jo Vearey. (2020) SeaM Security at the Margins. Published by The Seam Project. Johannesburg [OPEN ACCESS]

Cities are a conundrum. They are at once spaces of connectivity and marginalisation, optimism and injustice. Rapid urban growth, persistent structural oppression, and the limitations of urban governance are issues that city dwellers face. But, for some, living in urban centres also results in improved economic standing, stronger capabilities, and expanded freedoms. The Security at the Margins (SeaM) project sought to explore these tensions and contradictions.

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the South Africa National Research Foundation (NRF), Security at the Margins (SeaM) was a three-year collaboration that brought together the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Edinburgh, local government, and civil society partners to better understand and respond to marginality in urban South Africa, Kenya, and the United Kingdom. The hope was to create the foundations for a long-lasting, international, inter-institutional partnership.

This publication features research conducted during the SeaM project and includes reflections by practitioners and research colleagues working in similar areas. Read and download the project e-book below:


About Elsa Oliveira

Elsa Oliveira is a postdoctoral researcher at the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS), Wits University, where she is also the co-coordinator of the MoVE (methods:visual:explore) project.

Since 2010, Elsa has been involved in a wide range of participatory arts-based projects with diverse migrant populations in rural and urban areas of South Africa. She has a PhD in Migration and Displacement and is interested in the areas of gender, migration, sexualities, wellbeing, and informal livelihood strategies.