Across Africa, British colonialists romanticized the railway – whose deadly construction they oversaw through indentured Indian and African labor – with adventure narratives across “exotic” lands. Ms. Tayiana wanted to show, through her interviews, both the joy and the pain the railway represented for ordinary Kenyans. They had used it to carry children to school or produce to market, but their rulers had used it to carry thousands of anti-colonial liberation fighters to detention camps in carriages with barred windows and barbed wire. Kenya was under crushing British rule from 1895 to 1963. But much of the East African country’s colonial history was written by the same colonial powers that centered narratives glorifying and whitewashing their rule. As the world increasingly unearths the horrors of British empire and colonialism, young Kenyans are working to change the narrative and recount a more balanced version of Kenya’s colonial history...
Other railway topics related to the rest of Africa
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How a ‘headstrong historian’ is rewriting Kenya’s colonial history