Some Thoughts On The Nest’s “Tuko Macho”

TukoMachoTheNestCollectiveImage: Tuko Macho trailer (Facebook)

There are many things that I like about Tuko Macho. I like that it was made by the same people who created Stories of Our Lives. I like the visual quality, even as I lack the words to describe why exactly. I like the scene in the trailer and the starting credits of the first episode where a parade of askaris are sitting together and one of them breaks the unison of the group to stare directly and dramatically into the camera. And I like that in the closing credits of every episode of Tuko Macho, the phrase “events, people depicted in this series are entirely fictional” appears. Because this disclaimer is not true and it is also not false. Here’s the thing: Tuko Macho delights in taking binaries– fiction/nonfiction, good guy/bad guy, right/ wrong– mixing them up with gorgeous cinematography and acting and then spitting them out so that they are no longer recognizable. This insistence on complexity and on blurring the lines of morality and of storytelling is highlighted even more when placed against the black and white version of justice spearheaded by Biko/Jonah, protagonist/anti-hero of the show.

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In Which I Play Around With a Camera

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I define myself as “not a spatially intelligent/ visually intelligent” person. By which I mean, while words slide out of my lips and onto paper with relative ease, visual creativity eludes me. I don’t paint, draw, or take photographs. Sometimes when restless I doodle, and I suspect I once might have had some drawing talent but it’s so underdeveloped that I sometimes doubt my memories of that time. But a few weeks back I had the chance to borrow a camera from Tom Vandas of the Heroine Portrait series. I discovered something that I already knew: taking good photos is about more than just clicking a button, and that there are lots of technical details that take a lot of practice to figure out. Cue Pay Your Artists service announcement.

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