Collaborators Fade 1 portraits

Twenty-two superimposed portraits from the file ‘CO 1066/7: Kikuyu Loyalists’ at The National Archives (UK), depicting Kikuyu loyalists after signing a declaration of collaboration with the British on 27 January 1954.

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

Collaborators (portraits), 2023

Max Pinckers

27 mei 2024 • 1 min

When discussing the sensitivities around viewing British propaganda photographs from the 1950s with Mau Mau veterans in Kenya, it became clear that it was not the graphic photographs of atrocities that would trigger the veterans emotionally, but a series of straightforward portraits of men who had pledged allegiance to the British colonial administration. These portraits were catalogued along with the men’s names and another photograph of each of them signing a declaration of collaboration. I was advised by the representative of the veterans’ association that it would be too dangerous to share these photographs with the veterans.

This is part our of series on 'documents' in collaboration with Read the introduction here.

Max Pinckers grew up in Indonesia, India, Australia and Singapore, and is currently based in Brussels, Belgium. His work explores the critical, technological, and ideological structures that surround the production and consumption of documentary images. Documentary photography, for Pinckers, involves more than the representation of an external reality: it's a speculative process that approaches reality and truth as plural, malleable notions open to articulation in different ways.

  • Documents