After the rains came

Sarah Thomas
19 minutes


After the rains came: Seven short stories about objects and lifeworlds.

This film, structured through stages in a life cycle, explores the tension between the fleeting nature of memories, and the materiality and permanence of the objects that embody and inspire them.

The Samburu of Northern Kenya are a semi-nomadic pastoralist people with a vibrant oral tradition, and a form of memory making that is strongly associated with objects, bodily adornment, storytelling and song.

Pertinently, in this time of dramatic climate change, it also demonstrates the importance of rain as the loom upon which their socio-cultural fabric is woven. This film is divided into vignettes to reflect an aspect of Samburu cosmology in its editing style: While each vignette explores a different stage in the life cycle of the natural and human world, each pause between vignettes reflects the Samburu belief that only something made by the hand of Nkai (God) can be continuous and perfect, and as such Samburu ritual and cultural acts are marked by pauses between actions.

Producer / Production company: 
Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology, University of Manchester
Other keywords: 
Material Culture