Designing change
Coins and the creation of new national identities
in Cultures of decolonisation
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Designs on currency are often seen as markers of political change, with the change in images at independence seen as a visual representation of the new nation. However, most studies have explored these issues in only one country, and focussed on the relationship between the new nation and its former colonial power. Here a comparative approach is taken, examining the design of coins for newly-independent Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to uncover the regional, as well as the domestic, international and transnational, dimensions of this change. Examining the process of designing and producing coins for these African countries, and the individuals and organisations (including the Bank of England and the Royal Mint) involved, shows that coin design and production changed only gradually during the period of decolonisation. It also demonstrates that the various political and commercial interests of the individuals and organisations involved affected the choices made about what images appeared on coins after independence. The chapter concludes by briefly considering the legacy of these debates in contemporary decisions about the designs for African currencies.

Cultures of decolonisation

Transnational productions and practices, 1945–70

Editors: Ruth Craggs and Claire Wintle

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