Dreamscapes: Fashion, Football and Identity in Kenya


Project by Associate Professor Maria Mackinney-Valentin, Institute of Architecture and Design. 

“It’s your world, my world, our world today”
“We Are One”

World Cup Official Song, 2014

Football brings together fans across geo­graphic, cultural and social divides. The colorful football jerseys communicate positive messages of empowerment and belonging.

For young men in Kenya, the jerseys also tell a fashionable story of personal aspirations. 

Historian Elizabeth Wilson describes how fashion merges reality and fantasy, creating a space where we go adorned in our dreams.

“Dreamscapes” invites you to listen to the voices of these Kenyan men. For them, the jerseys materialize a dream of becoming a football player. A dream of more leisure time and economic prosperity. And also woven into the colorful fabric of these football jerseys is the allure of Europe. 

Research for “Dreamscapes” was carried out in Kenya in 2014 and published in Fashioning Identity: Status Ambivalence in Contemporary Fashion (Bloomsbury 2017).