Kenyan artists

A Letter from Nairobi: Reflections on Performance Art in Kenya

Donald Kuira Maingi reflects on the work of Kenyan artist Ato Malinda, who is expanding the boundaries of performance art in East Africa, and engaging with global discourses of contemporary art. Maingi interrogates the divide between the performance space of the gallery, and the world of public, politically engaged art, and wonders if the two can be reconciled.

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C-Stunners by Kenyan visual artist Cyrus Kabiru

As a good example for the youth and also as an art teacher, you could have probably received government funding to support your project as cultural education.
CK: No, our government is shit. They just believe in the people who are more educated, those who wear suits. (Laughs) Last month, I was with a Kenyan politician then I met a group of people who knew me, they began to shout “we know this guy!” The politician was upset with their reaction because he felt like they should know him rather than me. He should be the most popular one between us both. Politics in Kenya is bullshit. They always and only care for themselves as they drive around in big cars.

Are they supporting art at all?
CK: We have the oldest politician, William Ole Ntimama, as the Minister of Art and Culture, and for him Kenyan art is only about the Maasai and traditional dances!

So, what are your designs made with? Where are you getting your materials from?
CK: I just collect material from everywhere when I walk in the streets of Nairobi. First, I love nature and that’s the reason I work with recycled material. I want people to know how to give trash a second chance.

The C stunners project caught my eye. I could clearly imagine it on a runway, in a movie or in a dance piece. Why C stunners?
CK:(Laugh) C stands for my name or to see. The stunners is of course because they are stunning!

Click through for the entire interview

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Eagerly anticipating the release of this collaboration! Santigold and Wangechi Mutu Studio!! Video release of Mutu’s first ever animated video is this week.
Ciné Kenya has featured Wangechi Mutu’s work previously including her collaboration with prolific artists here, her incredible work as the artistic director for a Pegasus Warning music video here, an interview at her home here and her exhibition A Fantastic Journey here.

Revealed: How ministry officials denied Kenyan artists Smithsonian dollars

Revealed: How ministry officials denied Kenyan artists Smithsonian dollars

It kicked off with a theatre of the absurd, crystalised into a scandal of the white elephant and now the Saturday Nation can reveal how the government shortchanged artists at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC last month.

The scheme saw the ministry of Arts and Culture minting dollars off bent backs of poor artists who spent two weeks at The National Mall, showcasing and…

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Photo by @petekmuller. People listen to a music set at the Rift Valley Festival (RVF) in #Naivasha, #Kenya. The RVF occurs each August and has since its debut in 2010 as Kenya’s first international music festival. Taking place on the shores of Lake Naivasha, the festival typically last two days and nights and features performances from Kenyan, African and #international artists. On multiple stages, music ranges from dance DJs to #reggae with lots of variety in between. Additionally, restaurants, wine vineyards and other local food and beverage establishments sell their products from stands. Festival goers can either camp on the grounds or stay at one of many local hotels in the area. In the daylight, the surrounding area offers views of #zebras, #giraffes, #monkeys #flamingos, #warthogs, #hippos and other non-predatory game. A wonderful vibe. (photo made in 2013) #Africa #music #artist #festival by natgeo

Who's Cashing In On The +1 Boda Law?

Who’s Cashing In On The +1 Boda Law?

After hearing the news on Sheng Talk that boda bodas will now only be allowed to carry one passenger a couple things went through my mind:

That’s Just Fucking Inconvenient.

When my boyfriend and I get off work late, our usual mode of transport back home is a boda. The 6 kilometers home feels like a short ride as we look up at the stars and adrenaline kicks in as we hope that the on coming traffic…

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