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Living Cultures - Self Representation Through Film
As part of The Living Cultures Project, this event will bring together Maasai leaders, Pitt Rivers Museum staff and NGO Insightshare, to screen films made by a community based participatory video group Oltoilo le Maa in Kenya [OLM Kenya] and Tanzania [OLM Tanzania] about sacred artefacts at the Pitt Rivers Museum. Amos Leuka, Scholastica Kukutia and Samwel Nangiria are InsightShare Associates delivering participatory video training to Indigenous youth across the continent. The Living Cultures Indigenous Fellowship, a seven-month leadership programme by InsightShare, trained 38 Indigenous youth in Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania in 2021. They created community-authored videos on issues that matter to them and set up a growing network of autonomous media hubs to allow pan-African dialogue and exchange. We will be talking about the importance of labelling and self-representation, especially where narratives have previously not been present within the museum. Tune in to learn more about the role of Orkidong, Orkataar and Isuturia and the transfer knowledge which sustains Maasai Culture.

Find out more about the Maasai Living Cultures Project: https://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/maasai-living-cultures and https://insightshare.org/decolonising-museums-cultural-spaces/

Oct 19, 2021 05:30 PM in London

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Amos Karino Leuka
Amos is a teacher and long-time activist in cultural leadership and practices. He is a young member of the Loita council of elders and a member of the Land Committee in Loita. As a member of the council of elders, he has been outspoken on the subject of the position of girls in society and on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation. Amos is a founding member of the Pan-African Living Cultures Alliance, attended the 2019 Video4Change gathering of Indigenous activists in South Africa, and was a member of the 2020 Maasai delegation to the UK as part of the Living Cultures project to decolonise cultural spaces.
Samwel Nangiria
Samwel is the founding director of Oltolio Le Maa, a Maasai-led participatory video group that documents human rights issues, social development and Maasai culture. Samwel began using participatory video to defend Maasai territories from land grabs and forced evictions of Maasai pastoralists, and in 2017 he was acclaimed as Tanzania’s Rural Human Rights Defender of the Year. Samwel also uses participatory video as a tool for preserving Maasai culture and redressing colonial narratives of Indigenous Peoples in western or globalist institutions. He spearheaded the Living Cultures movement (a partnership between InsightShare and the Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford) which dismantles colonial narratives within museums by empowering Indigenous Peoples to curate their own narratives. He is also the co-founder of the Pan-African Living Cultures Alliance.
Scholastica Kukutiya
Scola is a women’s rights community activist in Kenya. She uses participatory video to promote women’s economic independence within her Maasai community. She supports traditional beadwork and has established an organisation, Olmaa Makes, that sells Maasai-made beadwork and pours the profits back into women’s initiatives, education and up-skilling. Scola also works with Oltoilo Le Maa. In 2018, Scola traveled to the University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, as part of the Living Cultures programme, to assess Maasai cultural artefacts. In 2019, Scola helped establish a Pan-African Living Cultures Alliance at a Video4Change gathering in South Africa.
Dr Laura Van Broekhoven
Laura is the Director of the Pitt Rivers Museum and Professorial fellow at Linacre College, University of Oxford. Laura's current research interests include decoloniality, reconciliation and redress, with a focus on the importance of collaboration, inclusivity and reflexive inquiry.
Nick Lunch
Nick is an experienced Participatory Video facilitator, working at home in Oxford and in over 20 countries since 1996. His passion for the methodology grew from experimenting in handing over control of the camera and film project to indigenous youth in Nepal. Nick co-founded InsightShare with his brother Chris, and has helped lead the organisation through an eventful journey of ongoing learning, and evolution. Today his focus is on honing the organisation’s capacity building skills, working with community animators to support a growing grassroots Participatory Video movement. Much of his fieldwork has involved repeat visits to indigenous partner communities in Africa, Asia and South and Central America; working together to preserve and promote traditional knowledge, advance the cause of indigenous rights, and support local representatives as delegates at key global gatherings.
Thandiwe Wilson
Thandiwe is the assistant for The Living Cultures Decolonising Cultural Spaces Project at the Pitt Rivers Museum which is designed to support indigenous people protect and present their cultural heritage correctly and address the imbalance of power, historical inaccuracies and injustices perpetrated by museum institutions. Her areas of interest include audience engagement, collections care, and ethical practice in cultural heritage.