On Monday 4th February, we were thrilled to screen our documentary Operation Legacy at SOAS University of London with friends from the Decolonising Our Minds Society. Operation Legacy is a co-production between Museum of British Colonialism and HistoryHit TV. Filmed half by our team in Kenya and half by our team in the UK, Operation Legacy charts the incredible story of a group of Kenyan war veterans who sued the British government in 2009 in order to reveal the truth of what happened in Kenya between 1952-1960. The case would expose a cover up so deep it was to rock the British establishment and change the way we view colonial history forever.
Although we have screened the documentary to a packed out audience in Kenya, this was the first opportunity we have had to share it in London and we were delighted to welcome such a large and engaged audience.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with Dr Chege Githiora, Senior Lecturer in Swahili at SOAS University of London and was the Gikuyu translator during the Mau Mau case; Julius Mbaluto founding editor of Informer East Africa, who also covered the Mau Mau legal case in London; British-Iraqi hip hop artist, campaigner and political activist, Lowkey, and our own Olivia WS. Shamsher Singh from Decolonising Our Minds Society chaired the conversation.
Everyone on the panel was amazed and humbled by the response to the film and the dynamism of the conversation. Reflections and questions ranged from the need to address intergenerational trauma suffered as a result of the Mau Mau Emergency, the mechanisms of historical miseducation including the absence of teaching this history in schools and the silencing of voices that opposed British colonialism. In addition, panellists explored what justice could look like for victims of British colonialism outside of legal reparation and the lasting legacy of British colonialism in Kenya. And how we might address this through the preservation or reclamation of a country’s heritage.
‘Wonderful, enlightening film and fascinating debate / panel after. All thoroughly informative and important. Thank you.’
For our team, the event also provided us with a wonderful opportunity to reflect and receive feedback on work completed to date, as well as to gather insight into what audiences would like to see moving forward. All in the room agreed that the documentary is a great starting point for awareness raising and discussion on the Mau Mau Emergency, and highlighted the importance of listening to African stories and reading African historians to tell the story of the Mau Mau Emergency.
‘Fantastic event. Keep up the good work. Please have more events so we can have a platform to learn and discuss the issues so that perhaps we can have some change.’
Thank you SOAS University of London and Decolonising Our Minds Society for having us and to all those who attended. Here’s to more events like this in the future!
In the meantime you can watch our documentary Operation Legacy via History Hit and you can also watch the post-screening panel and Q&A via our Twitter page. Please share online and use #OperationLegacy to spread the word. We will announce further screenings in the UK, Kenya and abroad very soon so please do keep an eye on our website, Twitter and Facebook page.
‘Would love to come for more events like this! Such, important and valuable work. I hope it continues and reaches new spaces’
‘Thanks for the event. Keep on fighting!’
And if you're interested in holding a screening like this at your institution or in your city, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org