My Mau Mau, a film work created by artist Matthew Hilton with composer Taran Carter, employs the form of musical theatre to explore the inner difficulties of living in the modern world and to express some of the fundamental issues that concern the global – immigration, neo-imperialism, isolation – by using the Mau Mau Uprising against British rule in 1950’s Kenya as a vehicle. Couching these big issues in the context of the individual, who, in striving to find some purpose in personal existence, reveals the deep anxiety that exacerbates contemporary life.




The making of My Mau Mau started with an idea of Matthew Hilton’s based upon research he was undertaking resulting from his discovery of a book Gangs and Countergangs. Since reading Gangs and Countergangs in 2009 Hilton has been working towards a sound and vision piece, the work growing richer and more resonant with time.


In 2013 composer Taran Carter joined the project and began to give it musical life as an opera.

The development of My Mau Mau is supported by The Performance Studio.

Matthew Hilton has made films with the Artists Placement Group; Welfare State Theatre and in the commercial sector. His work is in many public collections including the Government Collection; the British Council; Bibliotheque Nationale, France. His moving image works include films about Leila Khaled and Stuart Brisley. Hilton lives and works at Escapat near Pamiers, France.


Taran Carter’s music that has been described as ‘not compromising in terms of inventiveness’ has been performed by various ensembles including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Opera Australia as well as self-directedensembles. Carter is based in Melbourne, Australia.