Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Arash Khazeni

Reader 2

Tomas Summers-Sandoval

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Rights Information

© 2020 Amanda C Mutai


In the past 20 years, the number of dissertations written on the Mau Mau rebellion has gradually increased. Compelled by the misdeeds during the uprising, most historians discuss the possible causes of the rebellion, the race and gender implications of the rebellion or the politics of protests of the rebellion. However, what is translated through literature and photography can also be conveyed through the audiovisual—commercial films and instructional videos are examples of how we conceptualize the rebellion through media. Scholars tend to fixate on the literature of the period, often neglecting the power of images. To a mostly illiterate population, films were easily digestible. The lack of attention to media by scholars, specifically to film, with regards to the Mau Mau results in an over-generalized and mis-informed conception of the Mau Mau. The few important scholarly works that analyze African cinema often centers solely around film content and its roots in colonialism. I am examining not only the film content but also the formal film technique to see how both elements parallel the stages of colonialism in Kenya at the time of the Mau Mau. Utilizing archival documents from the British Colonial Office, Colonial Film Unit and the British Film Institute as well as commercial films and instructional videos, I offer a film perspective and a rather new way to examine the rebellion.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.