On the weekend 11-12th January 2020, the Museum of British Colonialism – in partnership with Informer East Africa – held our biggest event to date at the Africa Centre in London Bridge. Through a series of discussion forums and interactive exhibits, Changing the Narrative confronted what it means to decolonise heritage in a contemporary context. The Africa Centre saw roughly two hundred visitors over the weekend, with an overwhelmingly positive response.
The ground floor was dedicated to the ‘Emergency’ exhibition, the first public display of our work on the Mau Mau Emergency in Kenya. The exhibition was split into three sections: Emergency Sites, presenting our initial fieldwork on two former detention camps; Emergency Stories, presenting three oral histories of elderly Mau Mau veterans who fought for independence from the British; and 3D Digital Reconstructions of former detention camps developed in partnership with African Digital Heritage, utilising our initial fieldwork and archival records.
Throughout Saturday and Sunday we convened a series of panels exploring topics central to our work. These included Archives, Libraries and Collections; Repatriation, Reparations, Decolonisation and Africa UK Collaborations. With a fantastically eclectic mix of participants and audience members – from artists and activists, to academics and archivists, lawyers and polticians – the whole event was buzzing with energy, ideas and insights.
As MBC is committed to making our work and our events as accessible as possible we will be sharing content from the exhibition and each panel over the next few days. If you are interested in our work, or any of these themes, please do keep an eye on our social media and website for updates. Or sign up to our mailing list for alerts..