This is the story of a few documents that tumbled out of the secret archives of the biggest empire the world has ever known, offering a glimpse of histories waiting to be rewritten.
Just down the road from a pub in rural Hanslope Park, England is a massive building — the secret archives of the biggest empire the world has ever known. This is the story of a few documents that tumbled out and offered a glimpse of histories waiting to be rewritten.
When professor Caroline Elkins came across a stray document left by the British colonial government in Nairobi, Kenya, she opened the door to a new reckoning with the history of one of Britain's colonial crown jewels, and the fearsome group of rebels known as the Mau Mau. We talk to historians, archivists, journalists and send our producer Jamie York to visit the Mau Mau. As the new history of Kenya is concealed and revealed, document by document, we wonder what else lies in wait among the miles of records hidden away in Hanslope Park.
Produced by Matt Kielty with reporting from Jamie York
Special thanks to:
Mattathias Schwartz for first bringing us this story. Martin Mavenjina and Faith Alubbe of the Kenyan Human Rights Commission.
Nyakinyua Kenda for the use of their music, Rose Mutiso and Anne Moko for translation help, and Sruthi Pinnamaneni for production support.