Decolonization and In_Visibilities in Colonial Archives
The FCO 141 Series and the (Redemptive?) Power of Placement
Taking up the theme of placement within the context of in_visibilities, this _Perspective shares a series of reflections on the location and availability of colonial archives. It makes specific reference to the FCO 141 series at the National Archives at Kew (England), a series of files released as the result of a 2011 reparations case against the British government for the authorized and systemic use of torture during a war (1952–1960) leading to Kenya’s constitutional independence. The series is comprised of files removed from across the world as Britain’s empire fell, and is located in England despite a fifty-year history of restitution demands. By looking at the ambivalent relationship between archival location and the socio-political placement of the colonial past in England and Kenya, this _Perspective considers how archival custody (re)constructs in_visibilities of the colonial past in the present.
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