Well here we are, the last day of editing! It is just amazing how this trip has flown by this year. A great group of students from Brighton, interesting and full of dynamic differences but really hard working and here truly to try and make a difference and not just for an adventure. They have been really great, as have the Kenyan students from Rongo – hard working, friendly, funny and again committed to CM4K’s objectives. I am really happy with them all and proud of each and every one.
Ok enough of the soppy stuff……there is no way we will get everything done today. We have achieved a lot but set ourselves, or rather were set by the community, enormous tasks in the time available. That said it has been great fun, hard work and exhausting for everyone, but great fun. We have one radio show very nearly complete as I type, with another in production. We have a digital story of the fieldwork processes well under. We have process pictures for the first time. We have nearly every location descriptor written up and the translation into Luo is now underway. We have location and profile pictures. We have various video clips for the map; vignettes and a documentary – all in various stages of production despite laptop problems. All in all we have a mountain of data captured using a range of media tools and techniques.
The day‘s editing started with a real big effort by everyone but as Raila Odinga declared himself Kenya’s people’s president in Nairobi our hosts’ attention turned to what might be a momentous day for their nation…..or might just be a damp squib that might be forgotten as a publicity stunt if there is no strategic campaign to follow it up. This remains to be seen – it might be a new start for ‘Baba’ or the beginning of the end. One thing for sure is that Uhuru Kenyatta has damaged himself as a democrat. As events were unfolding in Uhuru Park, Nairobi he ordered a mass communications blackout and TV stations were closed down so coverage could not be seen. Of course there’s the Internet but slowly but surely our access to the Internet was pulled. It started with no access to news channels at Uni. This was then followed by no access to Google to find other news outlets as the University’s connection was pulled. I remained online for a while longer as I had a personal modem and was working on the map. I tried to stay under the radar by staying on My Maps but eventually I was found and that connection was pulled also.
Make no mistake, whilst I am not quite sure of what Odinga hoped to achieve with his declaration, this was censorship by a government with something to hide. It flew in the face of democracy and freedom of speech and assembly as allowed by the Kenyan constitution. I sincerely hope Kenya is not on the slope to dictatorship! I care for this nation and its peoples. I have dear friends on both sides of the political divide and to me the things that bind them are so much more than the differences that are used by some to create fracture and division. If only they could learn to celebrate these differences and embrace them as cultural strengths that make them a richer nation.
Oh well…..time will tell I guess. That’s it for today.