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Rewriting the Past: from Empire to ivory

Andrew Marr looks back to the end of empire when the records of imperial rule were systematically destroyed. With Ian Cobain, Edna Adan Ismail, Valerie Amos and Keith Somerville.

On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks back to the end of Empire when government officials systematically destroyed the records of imperial rule, and he explores the impact of outside organisations on a nation's ability to govern. The journalist Ian Cobain has uncovered details of the mass bonfires of sensitive official papers across Africa, which subverted the legal obligation to preserve important historical records. Edna Adan Ismail first came to Britain in the 1950s to train as a nurse before championing women's rights and health at the WHO and in her native Somaliland. She explains how the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, once a British protectorate, has been fighting for international recognition for the last 15 years. Baroness Amos has worked in international affairs both for the government and the UN. Now as the head of SOAS University she says it's vital to think about the world differently, from the perspective of the countries themselves. Keith Somerville has investigated the illegal ivory trade in Africa and argues that regulation - not prohibition - is the best way to stop uncontrolled poaching and smuggling.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

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43 minutes

Last on

Mon 21 Nov 2016 21:30

Ian Cobain

Ian Cobain is a journalist.

The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of Modern Britain is published by Portobello Books.

Edna Adan Ismail

Edna Adan Ismail is the Director and founder of the Edna Adan University Hospital in Hargeisa, Republic of Somaliland.

Edna spoke at the Rising Global Peace Forum in Coventry in November.

Valerie Amos

Baroness Amos is the Director of SOAS University of London.

Keith Somerville

Keith Somerville is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and Honorary Professor of Journalism at the Centre for Journalism, University of Kent.

Ivory: Power and Poaching in Africa is published by Hurst.


Role Contributor
Presenter Andrew Marr
Interviewed Guest Ian Cobain
Interviewed Guest Edna Adan Ismail
Interviewed Guest Valerie Amos
Interviewed Guest Keith Somerville
Producer Katy Hickman


  • Mon 21 Nov 2016 09:00
  • Mon 21 Nov 2016 21:30