AO: This excerpt from the interview raises the argument that of the work that is published and distributed, there is little content of relevance to working class Kenyans. This is an important point especially for Open Data and Open Access advocates and scholars and STS scholars - both Kenyan and non-Kenyans alike who work in Kenya -- to mull over. Beyond opening up content (which is important indeed, don't get me wrong), how relevant is the information for everyday research participants? In what forms is STS work being disseminated and by and for whom? Well-known for offering important theoretical understandings of translation work, how actively are we ourselves involved in doing and facilitating that such translation of our own outputs? With whom does/should that responsibility lie?
...the key issue is the content of published material. While it was possible in colonial times for Mau Mau to publish over 50 newspapers, publishing such alternative material is not possible today in Kenya, so strong is the grip of the ruling classes on people’s freedom to exchange ideas and experiences. While there is an increase in the volume and print quality of published material, it is the content that has suffered. Little of relevance to working people, who are the majority of Kenyans, is published and distributed. Yet the availability of social media is forcing change in society. It remains to be seen how this translates into the publishing sector. New forms and content of books and other material can flow directly from such technological changes.
(Shiraz Durrani and Kimani Waweru)