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The Battle for Laikipia

The Battle for Laikipia

Daphne Matziaraki & Peter Murimi / USA & Kenya / 2024

Climate change and unresolved historical injustices raise the stakes in a generations-old conflict between indigenous pastoralists and white landowners in a wildlife conservation haven.

For centuries, Kenya’s Laikipia region has been a grazing route for indigenous pastoralist communities. It is also home to white ranchers and conservationists, who settled there during the British colonial era, and stayed on after Kenya’s independence in 1963.

Since 2017, we have intimately filmed our characters, as they confront a rapidly changing world. Laikipia has been feeling the ravaging effects of climate change for decades – the pastoralists, the ranchers and conservancies all rely on Laikipia’s grasslands to sustain their cattle and the wildlife. When droughts and elections collide, conflict erupts.

Our story goes beyond the headline grabbing conflict. We explore identity, the complicated legacy of British colonialism, and their intersection with climate change. And all this is all happening during the most fragile moment of our planet.