De/Archive East Africa

Bratton, C. (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesMembership of an organizing committee or other positions of trust of a conference or a seminar


De-Archive East Africa Conference and Residency, Co-organizer and speaker

Co-designed and led with distinguished artists and curators Dalida Maria Benfield and Syowia Kyambi, DE/ARCHIVE EAST AFRICA will convene an interdisciplinary group of scholars, artists, curators, and activists in Nairobi, Kenya to explore the politics, meaning, and rethinking of the archive.

The modern archive is both an instrument and artifact of power, no more dramatically apparent than in the recent history of East Africa, where Britain and Germany used archives as an essential foundation of colonial power. More than half a century after independence, the meaning of these colonial archives remains an area of important social contestation, one which offers the possibility of radically new understandings of the past and even more radical imaginings of the future.

How have artists, writers, thinkers, and activists addressed this tension to rethink the role of archives in the East African context? How might we rethink both knowledge and memory in relation to an official record based on exclusion and silence? What might a radical archive be?
In this seven-day intensive residency/conference, January 18 - 25, participants - including, artists, researchers, and technologists - will interrogate both the meaning found within archival materials, and the notion of the archives themselves from a post-colonial and decolonizing perspective.
Period18 Jan 202025 Jan 2020
Event typeConference
Conference number40
LocationNairobi , Kenya
Degree of RecognitionInternational