Producing History From Elisions, Fragments, and Silences: Public Testimony, the Asiatic Poll-Tax Campaign, and the Isaaq Somali Population of Kenya
- Northeast African Studies
- Michigan State University Press
- Volume 13, Number 2, 2013 (New Series)
- pp. 177-205
- View Citation
- Additional Information
In the late 1930s, members of the Kenyan branch of the Isaaq Somali diaspora began a campaign for Asiatic status in an effort to gain greater privileges within the colonial racial order. After national independence, this aspect of their history became politically problematic. To situate themselves within the Kenyan nationalist narrative and combat forms of xenophobia that broadly paint Somalis as foreign and alien, members of the Isaaq community have recently suppressed public memories of the Asiatic campaign. This article examines this elision within public testimony and considers the differences between silences in the oral and archival records.