Democracy

Democracy

Democratic Governance

Celebrating Whispers 15 Years On: How Satire Can Further Civic Discourse

This year, 2018, marks 15 years since the death of Wahome Mutahi (1954 – 2003), who was one of Kenya’s most prolific fiction writers, as well as a playwright, columnist, political satirist, pundit and public opinion leader. He was popularly known as Whispers after the name of the column he wrote for The Daily Nation from 1982 to 2003, offering a satirical view of the trials and tribulations of Kenyan life. According to George Ogola in The Idiom of Age in a Popular Kenyan Newspaper Serial, at a time when the state had all but monopolized public sites of expression in the country, Whispers kept the Kenyan popular media porous, opening up spaces for the discussion of social and political issues that could otherwise only be ‘whispered’. It became the most visible site of social, cultural and political expression for the last two decades at a time when freedom to such expression was highly constrained by the state.

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Participation

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Arts & Education

Kenya: Short Film “Watu Wote” Nominated for the Oscars

After “Watu Wote” scooped the Students Oscars in September 2017 and numerous International Festival Awards, today’s Oscars Jury pronouncement further warrants this Film project the publicity it deserves not only in the East and Horn of Africa region but the world over. 

The film, based on a true story, narrates the experience of a group of bus travelers who on 21st December 2015 in Mandera (Kenyan-Somali border region) were attacked by Al-Shabaab terrorists. Like in so many incidences before, the militia had planned to massacre all the over 30 Christians on board the bus.

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The Ocean Atlas illustrates the important role played by the ocean and its ecosystems – not only for people living on the coasts but for all of us. It aims to give a current insight of the state and the threat of the seas, that are our livelihoods.

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Perspectives #01/2018: The Quest for Political Accountability: Change Agents, Openings and Dead Ends

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Since the third wave of democratisation swept through the continent in the 1990s, the majority of African states have replaced military dictatorships and one-party-dominant systems with more democratic forms of governance. Today, 61 percent of sub-Saharan countries are “free” or “partly free” according to Freedom House’s 2018 survey – although this is down from a high of 71 percent in 2008.

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