Archives for Writers: Krio Heritage and Culture

 This year, the RAS Education Programme is reaching out to adult communities as well as schools to develop creative writing in response to African culture and heritage. In line with one of this year’s Africa Writes  themes, Archives for Writers, we have programmed a series of creative writing sessions for members of the Krio community. The ethnic group called Krios are the descendants of various African-American, Caribbean and African ex-slaves and freedmen and women whom the British re-settled in Africa in the modern day West African country of Sierra Leone.


Twenty distinguished members of the Krio community joined us at the British Library on Monday evening for a lively introductory session celebrating Krio history and the founding of Freetown, Sierra Leone, through a series of carefully selected artefacts and documents.


The session began with Show and Tell, an engaging and informative presentation by Marion Wallace, Lead Curator for African Collections, who showcased unique items held by the British Library documenting the fascinating history of Sierra Leone and the origins of the Krio community. The Sierra Leone  Endangered Archives project was also highlighted,  as well as Gumbe music from the BL’s vast sound collection.


Letters, manuscripts, illustrations and registers were presented to inspire discussion and ideas for creative writing. Some members of the group shared their own artefacts, enriching the evening with personal memories and histories.
In the next two sessions, the group will develop their own personal creative responses to the artefacts in writing – to be showcased on Saturday 1 July at the Africa Writes festival.


We are delighted to be working in partnership with Iyamide Thomas, of Krios Dot Com; Marion Wallace, Lead Curator of African Collections at the British Library, assisted by Amber Perrier, Community Engagement Intern; and Jenneba Sie-Jalloh, Creative Writing Facilitator.


For more information, please contact Joanna Brown, RAS Education Programme Manager at