So Long, Goodbye.

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Part II: Teresia

Photography by Kevin Tosh
 (See here for Part I)

Their compartment was dusty, and there was nothing that bothered Teresia more than dust. She would find herself imagining the tiny particles settling on her hand, embedding themselves in the grooves on her palm, collecting one after another until her hand was traced over with microscopic brown, or black or red lines.

Jacaranda Season

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Photos by Wangari.

Speaking of Bloom:

Remember this Rumi quote  I shared a while back?
“Flowers open every night
across the sky, a breathing piece,
and sudden flame catching.”
 

Right now it’s perfect for what’s going on in Nairobi with the current explosion of Jacarandas in bloom. I love it, and how it looks like there’s purple fire in the branches and purple rain on the ground. (EDIT: yes, I know that technically this poem refers to the opening up of flowers at night but it just feels so apt for Jacarandas in bloom, ya get me? Yes? No?)

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Seven Questions for Janice Angengo

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“Chloe” (2015). Pencil on watercolor paper.
“If society would stop treating art as a hobby or side hustle, and think of it as a business, that would be great. People love your work until you ask them to pay for it. Artists invest a lot in their art. We buy the best materials that our pockets can afford and most importantly we spend a lot of time practising and developing our techniques.”
– Janice Ochanda, artist.

So Long, Goodbye.

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Part I: Saying Goodbye.

Photography by Kevin Tosh.

As the locomotive roared to life, the sisters Agnes and Teresia waved at Jecinta and Uncle Airstrip, who had brought them to Stone City Train Station. The last few days, Jecinta had danced around them with glee, assuring them that she absolutely completely would not miss them. “Me? Never! Finally, I’ll have all of this space to myself, I can’t wait!” Of course, as expected, she had burst into uncontrollable sobs as they had left the house and was crying into her sweater sleeve when the train took off.

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The Blooming Pouis of Mona.

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(Of Love, Poetry and Rejection) by Muturi wa Njeri.

Part I: September 2015
On Monday January 19th, after excitedly Instagramming a photo captioned last first day of college, I made my way to my first poetry class at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Mona, Kingston. Our teacher had just finished dishing out copies of the syllabus when I spotted her seated on the other end of the lecture room. As Dr. Morrison extolled her love for poetry, the definition of poetry that formed and stuck in my mind was the beauty of that girl seated at the other side of the room, the beauty of C—not her real name (lol).

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Awoke

Awoke1Images (and for more pictures + the story behind the collaboration): Binty Gakii
Words by me.
**
Awoke
You know-
it’s funny:
you don’t know that you’re asleep
until the day you start to rouse.

On Blooming and “African” Art Part II

ElAnatsui2Nkatha is the founder of Yakutti, a platform that seeks to tell the stories of African artists and to connect them with a global marketplace. See here for Part I of this conversation.
**
This Kenyan Girl: …. as more and more Africans are in the public eye we stop being representations of culture and become individuals. But there’s still a long way to go. I think that’s what Selasi was referring to. You know, I don’t know if many people have heard of El Anatsui in Kenya.
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On Visibility and Vulnerability

VisibilityVulnerability“You’re not shy. You’re careful. Because there’s a fear that holds you back. Sometimes fear is a good thing because it’s what gets the adrenaline flowing. But too much of it and you don’t try because you’re avoiding mistakes.”

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On Blooming and “African” Art Part I

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Nkatha Gitonga, founder of Yakutti, joins us for the next two posts in the Bloom Series. I love conversations with Nkatha, because she always has some really wonderful insights on the topic of art and of Africa. For this conversation we talk about Lupita Nyong’o, El Anatsui, Taiye Selasi and arts in Kenya and Africa in general, especially as pertains to the theme of Bloom.

Enjoy!