Decolonising Visual Representation

A perspective from Kibera slums residents in Kenya.

Historically, colonial legacies and power dynamics have influenced INGO narratives and visual representations, influencing representations of people from Global Majority countries.

Based on findings derived from residents of Kibera in Nairobi, the largest slum in Africa, the session will explore storytelling from a decolonisation perspective, applying a critical lens to historically typical representations used and created by INGOs.

The session will highlight a tendency to employ negative stories, words, and imagery when depicting people from Global Majority countries; INGO portrayals have oftentimes emphasised poverty, vulnerability, and helplessness. During the workshop, you will examine representation techniques used; delve into the impacts of different INGO fundraising methods; and assess the effect of decolonisation on fundraising.

Storytelling should not be a one-way process. As a sector, we must diversify the ways in which we create and share our narratives, incorporating subject perspectives to ensure more inclusive and authentic representation.

Learning outcomes

  • Learn how to employ a two-way process in your storytelling
  • Explore alternative methods of storytelling, including participatory photography
  • Find out how to incorporate the voices communities, participants, and contributors into your storytelling and fundraising


Maureen Cherongis
Media and External Relations Lead, Amref Health Africa
Nicodemus Minde
Researcher, Institute for Security Studies