We are thrilled that our Maasai partners have recently visited us in the UK to launch an exciting new Living Cultures initiative.

Living Cultures

In November 2017, Samwel Nangiria joined us to work together with indigenous partners from Nagaland (India) and Mexico to start to build a network of indigenous-led participatory video hubs. As part of this, Pitt Rivers Museum kindly hosted an event: Stories of Solidarity and Resilience, moderated by Guardian journalist George Monbiot. Museum Director Laura van Broekhoven also arranged for the group to meet curators and interact with objects from their respective regions. And this is what planted the seeds for Living Cultures.

November 2018 - Maasai elders visited the UK

Living Cultures is a unique collaboration between Oxford University Pitt Rivers Museum and InsightShare, that brought five Maasai elders and leaders from Tanzania and Kenya to the UK for two weeks in November 2018 to realign narratives from the colonial past and relate them to the continuous struggles of the present.

Living Cultures opens an unprecedented space for collaboration and knowledge sharing through a series of activities that will explore new ways to address their struggles, together.

What did we do?

  • 19 – 22 November: our Maasai guests worked with curators to transform how indigenous living cultures are represented in the museum, as part of Pitt Rivers Museum’s ‘Origins and Futures’ programme.
  • 22 November, 6-9pm: Maasai Stories – Redress and Resilience (Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University).
    An evening event of discussion, film screenings and presentation drawing on the week’s collaborations.
  • 26 – 28 November: 42 Acres Retreat in Somerset brought together Masaai activists with international allies to co-create a Living Cultures program.
  • 28 November, 6-9pm: Maasai Stories: Redress and Resilience (The Building Centre, London).  An evening event to launch the next phase of Living Cultures. Maasai leaders shared the stage with acclaimed human rights activist Pauliina Feodoroff, a Sami indigenous campaigner from Finland, and Laura Van Broekhoven, Director of Pitt Rivers Museum to confront our imperial past and bring the Maasai story up to date.

Read our blog to find out more: Maasai Wisdom – Our Living Culture

Who came?

  • Samwel Nangiria – Maasai activist and Director of NGO-Net,  Loliondo, Tanzania
  • Francis Shomet Ole Naingisa – Maasai elder, Loliondo, Tanzania
  • Kooya Timan –  Maasai facilitator in Participatory Video, Loliondo, Tanzania
  • Yanik Ndoinyo – Maasai leader and activist, Loliondo Tanzania
  • Scholastica Ene Kukutia – Women’s rights activist, Kenya
  • Paulina Feodoroff – Sámi Campaigner, Film and Theatre Artist, Finland

Interview on BBC Worldservice radio

Samwel Nangiria had an interview with Jenny Horrocks for the Focus on Africa program which aired on BBC Worldservice radio. Samwel talks about the 5 Maasai leaders’ collaboration work with the curators from the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford to realign the narratives of artefacts from their community.

Living Cultures Introduction Video

Maasai Living Culture film


Photos by John Cairns

Photos by John Cairns

Photos by Marti

Photos by Marti

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