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The Indian Voice: Connecting Self-Representation and Identity Formulation in Diaspora

  • Saima Nasar


This article examines a previously overlooked publication titled The Indian Voice of British East Africa, Uganda and Zanzibar. Printed in Nairobi between 1911 and 1913, the Indian Voice has been dismissed by some scholars as “insignificant” in the wider context of Kenya’s militant press. As an important tool for discovering, exploring and analyzing the nature of racial hierarchies, diasporic identity and belonging, this article argues that the Indian Voice can be used to understand how “new kinds of self-representation” both emerged and dissolved in early twentieth-century East Africa. By contextualizing the historical significance of the newspaper, it demonstrates how the Indian Voice offers an invaluable means of generating new insights into the complex cultural and political formulations of Indian identities in diaspora. In doing so, this article contributes to remapping the historical perspective of East African Indians within the early colonial period.

Cet article a pour objet un journal que l’historiographie a négligé jusqu’à présent, The Indian Voice of East Africa, Uganda and Zanzibar [‘La Voix des Indiens en Afrique de l’est, en Ouganda et à Zanzibar’]. Publié à Nairobi entre 1911 et 1913, The Indian Voice est jugé par certains historiens “de peu d’importance” dans le contexte de la presse militante au Kenya; or, il s’agit d’une source importante pour mettre en lumière, explorer et analyser la nature des hiérarchies raciales, des identités diasporiques, et de la construction des appartenances. Cet article soutient qu’on peut utiliser The Indian Voice pour mieux comprendre l’émergence ainsi que la dissolution de “nouvelles sortes de représentation de soi” en Afrique de l’est aux débuts du vingtième siècle. En replaçant l’importance historique du journal dans son contexte, il montre que The Indian Voice offre un moyen précieux de produire de nouveaux aperçus de l’élaboration culturelle et politique complexe des identités indiennes dans la diaspora. L’article contribue ainsi à redessiner la perspective historique des Indiens de l’Afrique de l’est à l’époque coloniale.



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The Indian Voice: Connecting Self-Representation and Identity Formulation in Diaspora

  • Saima Nasar


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