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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Popular Theatre and Popular Struggle in Kenya: The Story of Kamiriithu
Author:Kidd, Ross
Periodical:Race and Class
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:community development
Architecture and the Arts
Education and Oral Traditions
Politics and Government
Abstract:Its voicing of protest against injustice and corruption and its championing of workers' rights and popular expression have made the Kamiriithu Community educational and cultural Centre (KCECC), a peasant and worker-controlled organisation in rural Kenya, a major target for official repression. In 1977 the performance of its first drama, a community production in which over 200 villagers participated, was stopped and one of the organisers, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, imprisoned. Early in 1982 its second drama was stopped, its licence as a community organisation withdrawn, and the community-built 2,000-seat theatre smashed to the ground. In order to understand this the author looks at the history and work of the KCECC and assesses the Kamiriithu experience. Kamiriithu theatre is unique in that it emerged organically from the Basses. The Kamiriithu villagers started the KCECC, they made all the decisions, they controlled the finances and they determined the direction it should go in. Kamiriithu's strength lies in its organisation. It advances popular interests and has provided an alternative vision for developing national culture in Kenya. Ref.