City of Thorns: A Conversation with Ben Rawlence (New York)

Writer Ben Rawlence spent four years living and working in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, situated on the Somali–Kenyan border. A leading practitioner of “immersion journalism,” in which the observer becomes enmeshed in the lives of his subjects, Rawlence will consider whether such reportage is more effective than traditional forms of media coverage.

Rawlence signed copies of his new book, City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp.


  • Open Society Fellow Ben Rawlence is a former researcher with Human Rights Watch in the Horn of Africa and is the author of Radio Congo. 
  • Howard French (moderator) spent 18 years overseas with the New York Times and is the author most recently of China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa.
Date: January 6, 2016
Time: 12:102:00 p.m.