Nicky Sugar, Bristol Archives: Nicky has worked in the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection team at the Bristol Archives since summer 2015. After two years assessing and auditing the collection, which had been rescued from a closed museum, the team launched it to the public in 2017 with the co-curated photographic exhibition “Empire Through the Lens”. Since then a strong focus has been on promoting the collection to diverse audiences, both in Commonwealth countries and in communities locally. Nicky travelled to Kenya in June 2019 as part of the Building Shared Futures project, focussed on digital repatriation of colonial-era photographs which citizens can use to engage with their heritage.

JC Niala, African Collections Researcher at the Horniman Museum: JC Niala is the African Collections Researcher at the Horniman Museum. She is currently coordinating the project Rethinking relationships and building trust around African collections.

Onyeka Igwe, Artist-filmmaker working with colonial era archives: Onyeka Igwe is an artist filmmaker and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded PhD Researcher at the University of the Arts London. She has been published in MIRAJ and Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media. Her video works have been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Trinity Square Video, Toronto; The Showroom, London; the Articule, Montreal; Edinburgh Artist Moving Image and Hamburg film festivals. Onyeka was awarded the 2018 British Association of Film and TV Studies Best Practice Research Portfolio: Experimental, the New Cinema Award at Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival 2019 and is a finalist for the 2020 Arts Foundation Fellowship Award for Experimental Film. 

Marion Wallace, Lead Africa Curator at the British Library: Marion is Lead Curator of Africa at the British Library, where (among other things) she co-curated exhibitions on West Africa in 2015–16 and on the Djenné manuscripts in 2018. She specialises in the history of Namibia, and also writes on West Africa and on the impact of digitisation on African Studies. She is Chair of SCOLMA (the UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa).

Paul O’Connor, Director of the Pat Finucane Centre: The Pat Finucane Centre is an EU funded project providing support to victims and survivors of the conflict. The Pat Finucane Centre has accessed tens of thousands of declassified documents at The National Archives, Kew in the course of their work. Paul is a Derry native and one of original founders of Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign that led to new Bloody Sunday inquiry. Paul studied Peace and Conflict Studies at Ulster University.

Amara Thornton, Research Officer at the Ure Museum of Greek Archeology: Amara specialises in histories of British archaeologists in the late 19th/early 20th century Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East and archaeological collection histories. Since 2014, Amara has been Principal Investigator of Filming Antiquity, a digitisation and research project on excavation films. She received a Centennial Award from the Council of British Research in the Levant in 2018 for a digital project on excavations at Petra in 1929. Her first book, Archaeologists in Print: Publishing for the People was published in 2018.

REPATRIATION, Saturday 11th, 2pm

Charlotte Joy, Lecturer in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London: Charlotte’s research focuses on the intersection between materiality and dignity. She did her doctoral fieldwork in Mali and at UNESCO in Paris. Her new research is at the International Criminal Court and in Dakar. She is beginning a new small Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project working with the Women’s Museum in Dakar and the IFAN Museum. She is publishing a short book for Cambridge University Press entitled ‘Heritage Justice’. 

Geoffrey Roberston, Human Rights Barrister: Geoffrey is also an Academic, Author, Broadcaster, Founder and Joint Head of Doughty Street Chambers. His recent book, Who Owns History? delves into the debate over the Elgin Marbles, and offers a system for the return of cultural property based on human rights law principles that are being developed by the courts.

Princess Eugene Majuru, Editor in Chief at News of the South and African Cultural Ambassador: The granddaughter of the Paramount Chief of Harare, Chief Mbari of the Mbari clan and the Gurundoro (lion clan). Chief Mbari was the ruler and owner of Harare Mazoe and part of Mount Hampden before Zimbabwe was colonised. Princess Eugene has successfully hosted three conferences on repatriation to discuss the repatriation of the skulls of Zimbabwean Royals kept in London.  

Chao Tayiana, Digital heritage specialist and Digital Humanities Scholar: Chao is the founder of African Digital Heritage and co founder of the Museum of British Colonialism, where she leads digital heritage development.

DECOLONISATION, Sunday 12th, 12 noon

Maya Goodfellow, Writer, Broadcast Commentator and Academic: Maya is the author of Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats. She has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, the New Statesman, Al Jazeera, the Independent, Labour List and Media Diversified. She recently completed a PhD at SOAS, University of London.

Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp, Deputy Keeper in Anthropology at the Horniman Museum and Gardens and Lecturer in Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London: Johanna’s research explores different trajectories of future imagining as it intersects with processes and practices of decolonisation and post-colonial heritage making.

Nicola Stylianou, Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Making African Connections, University of Sussex: Nicola is a post-doctoral research fellow in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. She is working on the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project Making African Connections in Sussex and Kent Museums: De-colonial futures for colonial collections. The project addresses the colonial histories of three historic collections of African material in museums in the South East of England: The Royal Pavilion and Museums in Brighton; the Powell- Cotton Museum in Birchington-on-Sea and the Royal Engineers Museum, Kent. 

Professor Chege Githiora, SOAS Lecturer in Swahili, and Gĩkũyũ translator during the Mau Mau court case in London: Chege is a linguist by training and currently teaches at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of many books, including Sheng: Rise of a Kenyan Swahili Vernacular (2018), and Unmarked Grave: A Story of the Mau Mau War (2017), a translation of the Swahili original Kaburi Bila Mslaba. He also helped organise the Mau Mau Justice Network Campaign in London in support of the legal suit by elderly Mau Mau victims against the British government in 2011.

Meera Sabaratnam, SOAS Lecturer in International Relations and Chair of the Decolonising SOAS Working Group: Bio to follow

REPARATIONS, Sunday 12th, 2pM

Professor Paul Chepkwony, Governor for Kericho County, Kenya: Professor Paul Chepkwony is the Governor of Kericho County in Kenya. He won re-election in 2017 and is serving his final term as Governor. Kericho is an extremely fertile county in Kenya famous for its tea farms, large swathes of which are now owned by foreign multinationals. Sparked by complaints from the people in Kericho as well as his own family history Professor Chepkwony has been leading a fight to receive an apology and compensation from the British Government who took the land in Kericho county by force during the colonial period all the way through to independence in 1963. He is also in talks with the multinationals to make them agree to pay up-to-date land rates as well as to re-survey the land they occupy which he believes is in excess of what has been declared. Before being elected at Governor he was a Chemistry Professor at Moi University in Kenya. 

Professor Chege Githiora, SOAS Lecturer in Swahili, and Gĩkũyũ translator during the Mau Mau court case in London: Chege is a linguist by training and currently teaches at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of many books, including Sheng: Rise of a Kenyan Swahili Vernacular (2018), and Unmarked Grave: A Story of the Mau Mau War (2017), a translation of the Swahili original Kaburi Bila Mslaba. He also helped organise the Mau Mau Justice Network Campaign in London in support of the legal suit by elderly Mau Mau victims against the British government in 2011.

Tom Wills, Traidcraft Exchange: Tom Wills is a Senior Policy Advisor at Traidcraft Exchange, a UK NGO that works towards global trade that creates lasting solutions to poverty. Tom focuses on agricultural supply chains and the role of government regulation in supporting fairer forms of business and tackling corporate crimes, from modern slavery to land grabs. Prior to joining Traidcraft Exchange in 2015, Tom was a civil servant and has experience in think tanks and charities.

Nikita Bernardi, Kenyan-Italian Communications Specialist: Nikita has worked on legal, political and human rights campaigns throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She has an undergraduate degree in Chinese and African Politics from SOAS and a Masters degree in African Studies from Yale University where she received an Honours for her thesis on the colonial history of city planning in Nairobi.


Nadine Patel, Head of UK Partnerships & Programmes for the sub-Saharan Africa Arts Group at the British Council: Nadine has been a key contributor to the strategic development and management of the sub-Saharan Africa “Art Connects Us” programme, a three-year, multi-million pound project. Working in collaboration with partners and colleagues in Literature, Performance, Music, Film, Architecture, Design and Fashion across the Council’s nineteen offices on the continent, she designs programmes which increase the knowledge, networks and opportunities for contemporary African arts professionals and their peers in the UK and beyond.

Julius Mbaluto, Founding Editor of Informer East Africa Newspaper: Julius is currently the host for Global Radio Show, known as “Global Conversations” on Colourful Radio. He is an award- winning International Journalist and a mentor to Journalism students at City University. He is the Founder and Chief Editor of Informer East Africa Newspaper published in the UK. Mbaluto’s broadcasting career began at Carlton Television. He then joined ITV and, later, the BBC. 

Dr Pauline Long, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist: Pauline is a Kenyan born UK based entrepreneur, philanthropist, fashion designer, mentor, media mogul, motivational/public speaker, music video director/producer, writer and TV and radio presenter/producer. Pauline holds four Lifetime Achievement awards, three Icon awards and over 45 community awards. She has been crowned the most celebrated African Female by Leadership Mind Ambassadors Organisation and named African/Caribbean Woman of the Year 2014. 

Sheila Ruiz, Deputy Director of the Royal African Society: Sheila is Deputy Director at the Royal African Society, having formerly been Head of Programmes, Partnerships and Operations and Events Programme Manager. In her current role, Sheila has focused on organisational development, whilst acting as the cultural head for the organisation. Prior to joining the Royal African Society in September 2011, Sheila was the Communications and Programming Consultant for The Africa Centre and previously worked as a freelance events producer for various arts projects in London. 

Chao Tayiana, Museum of British Colonialism: Chao is a digital heritage specialist and digital humanities scholar. She is the founder of African Digital Heritage and co founder at the Museum of British Colonialism where she leads digital heritage development.

Olivia Windham Stewart, Museum of British Colonialism: Olivia is a business and human rights specialist and co-founder of the Museum of British Colonialism.

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