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Title:Inscribing memory, healing a nation: post-election violence and the search for truth and justice in 'Kenya Burning'
Authors:Muhoma, CatherineISNI
Nyairo, JoyceISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:political violence
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17531055.2011.614849
Abstract:The violence in the wake of the Kenya general elections in December 2007 found one of its most profoundly haunting, provocative and creative expressions in a photographic text called 'Kenya Burning'. It was first exhibited at the Godown Arts Centre in Nairobi from April 19 to May 10, 2008. The present paper renders a reading of photographs in 'Kenya Burning' in an attempt to lay bare the complex sphere of multiple narratives that speak to the issues of what ails Kenya. It argues that, as an artistic piece of work, the picture-text represents the ways in which the photographers as artists have constructed representations of the realities of Kenya's sociopolitical life around and up to the eruption of the post-election violence. In engaging with these pictures, the paper unveils the complex history of Kenya's multiparty politics and the burden of ignored or forgotten narratives. It navigates a terrain of sordid pictures capturing death, destruction and mayhem, pictures that attest to the truth that the memory of the collective populace cannot be 'shut down' just for political expediency. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]