“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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Seven Questions for Janice Angengo

Picture

“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.

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.
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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.
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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 Blooming and “African” Art Part I

ElAnatsui2

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!

Flower Girl

IvyNyayiekaBloom2By Ivy Nyayieka. 

I have only ever been a flower girl once.

I was six years old, wearing a white dress, before I started to feel that white dresses accused me of things, before the priest said that we wear white to show that we are free from sin.

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