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JC Niala


Honorary Reseach Fellow





JC Niala is an award-winning play and screen writer. Her work is regularly produced in Kenya, the U.K. & the U.S. A keen practitioner of public engagement with research, she grounds her creative work in historical & anthropological research. Research themes include work carried out with urban refugees culminating in a film Wazi ? FM (2015) which won several awards including Best Picture at Zanzibar International Film Festival and an EU Award for promoting peace & cultural understanding.

She has an MSt in Creative Writing from Kellogg College, University of Oxford. JC’s counter - colonial approach to African history has led to research on African women leaders & African Soldiers in WW1. Her podcasts are featured on the University of Oxford’s iTunes educational channel. She received a Community Engagement and Academic Merit Award for this work.

JC’s research centres on the urban context and she has been published in varying journals including the Africa Theatre Journal & the Journal of Museum Ethnography. She is currently reading for a DPhil om 'Urban Gardening – gardeners and their sites of socio-ecological production. An ethnographic study with practitioners at its centre' in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, St Catherine's College, Oxford University. During this fellowship JC has worked with Yvette Hutchison as the Community Manager of the African Women Playwrights Network, in the project's school outreach work in NE London in collaboration with Africa Writes, a project of the Royal African Society, and on the Woza Albert Theatre in Africa educational toolkit.