DIGITAL MAPPING AND RECONSTRUCTION OF DETENTION CAMPS IN KENYA

In 2018, we partnered with the Museum of British Colonialism to begin researching and digitally documenting the history of Kenya’s widely forgotten detention camps. This a project that is both personal and incredibly vital in the realisation of truthful, unbiased accounts of Kenya’s colonial history. Through this initiative we aim to use technology as the main tool in engaging widespread audiences with lesser known histories that have been largely wiped out of national memory.

TIMELINE: March 2018 – PRESENT

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

We engage audiences in Kenya and the UK with the history of the camps through a series of interactive digital assets that explore questions around; location, physicality and the lived experience. We consider this to be restorative and vital history. Our three -pronged approach combines digital, tangible and intangible perspectives by:

  1. Creating 3D reconstructions of the camps that reference existing physical remains and archival sources.
  2. Overlaying these reconstructions onto an interactive digital map, showing scale and location.
  3.  Populating the digital map and models with oral histories and experiences of those who went through the camps.

TECHNOLOGIES AND TECHNIQUES: 

  • 3D Digital Reconstruction  and 3D Documentation – Photogrammetry
  • Interactive mapping platforms – Carto DB and ESRI
  • 2D Digization of archival research
  • Metadata management
  • Social Media engagement with digital assets

QUESTIONS THAT WE SEEK TO ADDRESS THROUGH THIS PROJECT 

As we work through this project, here are some key questions that we aim to keep in mind as we seek to create sustainable – people led approaches through technical intervention.

  • Participatory technologies – How can we use technology to create participatory platforms where people can contribute their shared knowledge on the subject?
  • Enhanced Engagement – Can digital visualisations increase national engagement with histories that previously existed within hyper-localised settings ( families, villages)?
  • Preservation of memory – The primary source of knowledge on these camps is oral history, as we conduct interviews, speak to people and document their deeply personal experiences, how do we maintain the integrity of their stories as we transfer them through different forms of media (videos, interactive visualisations) and platforms (social media, website)?

MORE INFORMATION

Contact: chao@museumofbritishcolonialism.org