“Stories of the City”: A profile of Elias Mung’ora.

Featuring Elias Mung’ora; Photographs by Kevin Tosh.

Part I: The Meeting.

EM6I first met Elias Mung’ora at January’s dusitD2 Nairobi Gallery Exhibition. I noticed his work as the evening was coming to an end, and the first painting that I saw evoked… something I can’t really explain… in me. It was a scene from the city, and I could almost imagine myself standing within the painting as I looked at it: waiting to cross Wabera Street and watching vehicles approach and people walk towards Steers and Trattoria on the other side. But then there was also a green haze hanging over the scene, making it feel like the whole thing would have been happening in a dream.

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On Surfaces and Depth.

Ichyulu3Photographs: Kevin Tosh.

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while now (although I suppose another way to say it would be that I’ve been “lulling over this post”). You know when you have so many thoughts that the only way to put them in words is to write them down, but then writing them down only makes them feel more and more confused and at some point you’re kinda tripping over everything and you can’t really tell whether there’s a point or whether the point will be legible to anyone reading except for yourself or whether even *you* can actually see the point? Well. Yes. That.

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(Red) Letter Day.

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Photographs by Kevin Tosh.

Location: The Murumbi African Heritage Collections.

This weekend my sisters and I were invited over to dinner at a cousin’s. It’s one of those situations where it’s a distant cousin– our gukas (grandparents) were cousins, which technically makes us third or fourth cousins (?) and while we’d seen each other once or twice at family get togethers, we hadn’t really had the chance to hang out. When our parents were our age, though, they roomed together for a bit, which gave the whole scene a feeling of deja vu, like history was replaying itself during our dinner. Our cousin is also newly married, which meant that we were meeting his wife for the first time. You know when you find yourself sitting with a couple that’s so beautifully in love that it just kind of extends throughout the room to everyone? That was the experience of dinner, and I’m still moved by the warmth of your love for one another, and by the genuine way in which you welcomed us into your home. So, to M and D, before I go any further, thank you for dinner, for wonderful conversation and for sharing the story of your love.

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Living History: An Introduction.

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Photography by Kevin Tosh.

Location: The Murumbi African Heritage Collections.

When I was growing up, I wasn’t much of a fan of history lessons. It was interesting but ultimately all too tedious to memorize the names, the dates, the numbers. I was always much more interested in the stories of these people than in the collective stories, which meant that I ended up choosing geography for my final exam– which wasn’t that much more interesting but for some reason the prospect of memorizing rock names was a little less daunting than of memorizing the entire history of Kenya.Continue Reading

January 2016: Seeking Balance.

DearDiary

Dear diary,

January was full of lots of beautiful things: a lot of art, of good food, of friendship, but it was not without its low moments. I remember speaking with a friend a few hours after the new year had begun and they confided in me that it felt like there wasn’t much to celebrate given that some rough things had been happening around them at around the same time. To this person, I love you, I love you and I really hope that January has brought you some kindness and some beauty. <3

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