Kenya: ’Journeys of Peace’ – cultural heritage and peace building

Over 3500 people have visited the exhibition ’Journeys of peace’ in 5 locations in Kenya. This has included marginalized groups such as the Maweto mothers, childless women who help single mothers to raise their families.

”Akamba Peace Museum is now seen as a key institution promoting human rights, peaceful coexistence, freedom of expression, empowering the youth, preservation of cultural heritage and as promoting inter-ethnic dialogue”.
So said curator Munuve Mutisya after the travelling exhibition ‘Journeys of Peace’ visited the community peace museum. The project is based on the simple belief that heritage is a force for peace building through dialogue and education – and already the impact is being felt across many of the different communities and groups in Kenya.

Members of the community peace museums planning the next steps of the project. Photo: David Perrin.

Young people have connected with the elders in their communities, and traditional Kenya peace building activity such as the planting of peace trees has brought divided people together.

Felix Chalon, curator of the Pastoralist Peace Museum discusses the impact of Journeys of Peace. Photo: David Perrin.

In the northern regions communities divided for 3 decades viewed the exhibition together and began a process of reconciliation through common heritage. Curator of the Pastoralist Peace Museum, Felix Chalan observed

‘We need to develop long-term local based solutions. Local solutions are effective. Without dialogue, a culture of violence will continue. Imposed political narrative is of difference – the artefacts show that this is not the case.’

Part of the traveling exhibition. The exhibition will run until March 2014. Photo: David Perrin.

‘Journeys of Peace’ is an ongoing project that is reaching out to communities in rural Kenya. The project is managed by a network of Community Peace Museums in partnership with CHwB. It is funded by the Swedish Institute.