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  4. Workshop: National Heritage: Challenges and Opportunities

Workshop: National Heritage: Challenges and Opportunities


From left: George Morara (Kenya Human Rights Commission), Basilius Kagwi (Karima Forest Initiative) and Tetu Maingi (Porini Association). Photo: Karega-Munene

Around 45 people gathered at the United Kenya Club, Nairobi, on 27-28 May 2011 for a successful workshop entitled ‘National Heritage: Challenges and Opportunities in post-conflict Kenya’.  

The Club, on State House Road, was an appropriately-named venue for this gathering of Kenyans from many different ethnic communities, and friends of Kenya from countries including Canada, Italy, the UK and France.

Generously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK (AHRC), the event marked the near completion of our three-year research project, which ends in September.

Many of the participants, who had travelled long distances from their homes in different parts of Kenya, were citizens who have taken part in our research in one way or another – as informants, hosts, field assistants, translators, students and ex-students. They also included local scholars, contacts in the state heritage sector, and from human rights organizations, faith groups and NGOs.

The main aim of the workshop was to facilitate dialogue between different heritage stakeholders, and to ‘give something back’ to those who have contributed to our research. It was an opportunity to debate, express views, share experiences and knowledge, and to plan ways forward for heritage management in Kenya. Peace and reconciliation, and the uses of cultural heritage in such initiatives, formed a large part of the discussion.  Researchers Lotte Hughes, Annie Coombes and Karega-Munene also gave a joint presentation on some aspects of their study.

This is what some participants said about the experience:

‘The workshop was great! Especially for our memorialization project, since we now have more contacts to work with.’
George Morara, Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)

'The gathering was very nourishing in terms of how we would wish to take forward the agenda of indigenous knowledge systems in a holistic way from the communities way up to the policy makers.'
Tetu Maingi, Coordinator, Porini Association (environmental NGO)

‘The process has been a great learning experience for me and I am very certain that the acquired knowledge will boost our work.’
Njiru Njeru, Curator, Aembu Community Peace Museum

A report on the event is being compiled, and will be posted on this website. A video of the proceedings will be edited and clips posted. We are exploring ways of making both these items available within Kenya, to people who do not have internet access.

We would like to thank the following people who took notes on workshop proceedings: Gordon Omenya, Elizabeth Kanini and Naomi Wandia.

Programme pdf (21 kb)

Link to photographs of the event


Lotte Hughes presentation pdf (47 kb)

Prof. Godfrey Muriuki (University of Nairobi), Ways Forward for Heritage Pdf (12 kb)

Bro Albato Parise, Cultural Heritage as a Factor in Social Reconciliation: A Case Study of Kariobangi, Nairobi Pdf (31 kb)