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Mapping and Reconstructing Mau Mau Camps around Kenya

Mapping and Reconstructing Mau Mau Camps around Kenya

“On 31st August 1952, 1200 of us were moved by the special detainee train (Gari ya Waya) whose windows were covered in barbed wire. We were on our way to Manyani camp in Kenya’s Coast Province”

In 2018, we partnered with the Museum of British Colonialism to document, map and create digital reconstructions of former detention camps around Kenya.

Project background

Main Research Sources

Oral Histories

Oral testimony from veterans and history passed down generations is crucial in providing personal testimonies, memories and experiences that are uncaptured in archival sources.

Archival Sources

Archival sources which include newspapers, video, audio, letters and photographs have provided a key insight into the nature of the camps, their locations and the policies instituted during detention.

Physical evidence

Evidence found in the physical camp sites. This include remains of buildings and materials used to construct the former camps

Approaches to reconstruction

Reconstruction by Testimony
Reconstruction by Objectivity
Reconstruction by Deduction
Reconstruction by Comparison
Reconstruction by Testimony

Evidence based on oral histories, books, interviews, illustrations and other literary sources.

Reconstruction by Objectivity

Sources based on existing plans, 3D scans, photogrammetry reconstructions

Reconstruction by Deduction

Elements that can be deduced from in situ remains

Reconstruction by Comparison

Evidence that can be found in one site but not found in another can help make deductions on missing information

Project updates

” A finished image alone does not reveal the process by which it was created “

Background behind the 3D reconstructions

Interactive map of detention camps around Kenya (ongoing)

Field Work Diaries – Videos

About the Museum of British Colonialism

The Museum of British Colonialism was initiated by a like-minded group of British and Kenyan women in January 2018. The team has recently expanded to include a small number of volunteers, researchers, and content developers in the UK and Kenya collaborating to gather and present archival documents and footage, photographs, oral testimony, documentary footage, press clippings, letters, and objects.

We are a team of volunteers contributing our skills and time to realize more truthful portrayals of colonialism. Your support could go a long way

Support this project