Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Denis Linehan & Joao Sarmento
Cultural memories: the geographical point of view
Spacing Forgetting: The Birth of the Museum at Fort Jesus, Mombasa, and the Legacies of the Colonization of Memory in Kenya
Optional Fields
Kenya Mombasa Museum Memory Post Colonial Cultural Geography
This chapter discusses public memory in Kenya through an analysis of the restoration of Fort Jesus, Mombasa, Kenya, and the contemporary role of the fort as a site of memory. Drawing on the political uses of erasure, fiction, and omission, the authors reveal continuities in the production of memory at Fort Jesus that have been politicized in colonial and postcolonial contexts. An analysis of the British and Portuguese motives in converting the fort into a museum shows how the transformation supported their imperial projects in Africa in face of growing calls for decolonization. The chapter also analyzes the resistance to the restoration led by two figures in the Kenyan anticolonial movement, Tom Mboya and Pio Gama Pinto. Although reaffirming how their resistance to the museum provides a critical alternative to the nostalgic narratives currently in vogue at the site, the authors conclude that the memory work around Fort Jesus actively neglects the colonial experience.
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