02.05–02.06.24
Torino Foto Festival – New Landscapes

State of Emergency

Max Pinckers

Date
02.05—02.06.2024

Location
Palazzo Madama — Museo Civico d’Arte Antica

Curated by
Salvatore Vitale

State of Emergency – Harakati za Mau Mau kwa Haki, Usawa na Ardhi Yetu is an ongoing documentary project in collaboration with Mau Mau war veterans and Kenyans who survived colonial atrocities. Through live re-enactments or ‘demonstrations’, a (re)visualisation of the struggle for independence from British colonial rule in the 1950s is created, showing past experiences in present days, with a future audience in mind. As most colonial archives have been deliberately destroyed, hidden or manipulated, the project seeks to shed light on the blind spots of history by creating new ‘imagined documents’ that fill the gaps in the historical archives.

State of Emergency weaves together fragmentary colonial archives, photographs of architectural and symbolic remains from the past, mass grave sites, demonstrations and testimonies of those who lived through and survived the war.

State of Emergency is a collaborative attempt at reconstructing and reimagining possible futures of reparation and reconciliation. With the collaboration of the National Museums of Kenya and Mau Mau War Veterans Association **members, the project provides a collective response to heal, without erasing, the still open wounds of colonial violence, creating a restorative tool that, through the medium of photography, tells the powerful the truth of those who lived through it.

Peter Irungu Njuguna, MMWVA Murang’a, Kenya, 2019.

From the series State of Emergency, Max Pinckers et al. (2014-2024) 

© Max Pinckers/MMWVA 

Peter Irungu Njuguna, John Mwangi and Paul Mwangi Mwenja (left to right), Gitoro Cave, Kenya, 2019.

From the series State of Emergency, Max Pinckers et al. (2014-2024)

© Max Pinckers/MMWVA 

The Mau Mau War Veterans Association, Murang’a, Kenya, 2019.

From the series State of Emergency, Max Pinckers et al. (2014-2024) 

© Max Pinckers/MMWVA 

Beninah Wanjugu Kamujeru, John Mwangi, Ndungu Ngondi (1939-2023), Joseph Gachina and Wilfred K. Maina (left to right), MMWVA Murang’a, Kenya, 2019.

From the series State of Emergency, Max Pinckers et al. (2014-2024) 

© Max Pinckers/MMWVA 

Field Marshal Muthoni wa Kirima, Nyeri, Kenya, 2019.

From the series State of Emergency, Max Pinckers et al. (2014-2024) 

© Max Pinckers/Muthoni wa Kirima 

Nyeri County Archives, Nyeri Museum, Ruringu, Kenya, 2015. From the series State of Emergency, Max Pinckers et al. (2014-2024)