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Arts & Science Program

First-year Arts & Science Capstone Project: Safiya Sivjee

Safiya SivjeeSafiya Sivjee

Winter 2024 Capstone Project Title: The Polarization of Zanzibari Identity for Political Legitimacy

Project Description: My Capstone aims to explain how identity is used as a tool by political leaders in Zanzibar to gain support and to turn citizens against opposing parties. By analyzing historical documents and modern case studies, I was able to understand how certain political tactics have been used for centuries to turn racial groups in Zanzibar against each other, causing conflict and violence among the population.

The 1C06 Capstone experience: I decided to write about Zanzibar because that’s where my family is from. I saw this Capstone topic as an opportunity for me to know more about where my grandparents were born and raised. In my Capstone, I frequently reference the Zanzibar revolution, an event that my grandparents lived through when they were young adults. Learning about the revolution through an academic lens and talking to my grandparents about my research was very fulfilling. By the time I was done writing my Capstone, I almost knew more about the Zanzibari political sphere than they did!

Key Takeaways: Research can actually be super fun. Writing a 12-page paper seemed very daunting at the beginning of the year. But now that I’ve gone through the Capstone process twice, I’ve realized how interesting writing a paper like this can be. I’ve also learned many research skills along the way, such as the importance of consulting a wide range of academic sources so that my analysis can be as thorough as possible.

Safiya Sivjee Capstone Poster

Click here to read interviews with the other first year Arts & Science students.