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Voices from Kamĩrĩĩthũ Afterlives

Image: 2024-05_Kamĩrĩĩthũ Afterlives

Image: Courtesy of Kamĩrĩĩthũ Afterlives

Kamĩrĩĩthũ Afterlives is a collaborative project to commemorate and reactivate this heritage and to support struggles and debates about social and environmental justice in Kenya today. Led by Kenny Cupers and Makau Kitata, it brings together the original performers with community stakeholders, institutional partners, and performance-based initiatives for social and environmental justice. The project is ongoing and consists of four interdependent elements: an open-access archive with the voices of the original actors and others involved, a digital model of the original open-air theatre, a documentary film, and a future reactivation of performing arts in Kamĩrĩĩthũ.

Together with filmmaker Gitonga Mwangi, Kenny Cupers and Makau Kitata have conducted over two dozen life story interviews with the original actors, their families, and other stakeholders in the community. Their voices (listed below) give a sense of people’s relationship to the land, their histories of migration, and their experiences of injustice. They convey why people joined the theatre, how it became so empowering and successful, what happened after the theatre was banned and demolished, and how they imagine a just future.

With these voices and visual materials, including original photographs that have never been published before, this website is an open-access archive. This archive aims to make the voices of the actors and community public and preserve the memories of Kamĩrĩĩthũ theatre for future generations.

Voices from Kamĩrĩĩthũ theatre:
Maria Njeri Waweru, Salome Njeri Njane, David Njaramba Kaguura, James Githiga Muaura, Joseph Mwangi Kariuki, Geoffrey Mbothu Wachira, Moses Njiriri Mburu, Wangari Hinga, Lucy Wangui Ng'ang’a, Margaret Wairimu Ngũgĩ (wa Mirii), Raphael Karanja Mwaniki, Sam Mbure, George Kabonyi

Voices from the community and other interlocutors:
Alice Muthoni Karuma, Clement Warorua Kimani, David Mbugua Kinyanjui, Elizabeth Muthoni, Grace Mwangi, John Ngugi Njenga, Margaret Njeri Choru, Peter Gathii Kimani, Peter Ndungu Nganga, Serah Wangari Karanja, Esther Kute, Suki K.K. Mwendwa