Thursday, 17 August 2017

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Creative Encounters #3

Creative Encounters #3 just ended and it was a great day. The platform is growing, this time we had about 80 people attending the event.
As Kobo Trust recently hosted the exhibition Arts to End Slavery, organized by Haart Kenya, we wanted to dedicate also this event to the topic of human trafficking.
Though it is outlawed everywhere, human trafficking exists globally.  According to latest global index, 46 millions of people today live as slaves. The report indicates 167 countries where slavery still happens. Modern slavery is a multi-billion-dollar industry with estimates of up to $ 150 billion generated annually, I guess this statistic is not updated but it gives a sense of the impact in our societies. 
When words fail us in front of these dreadful statistics, Art is the only tool we have to raise awareness and address social change. Creative Encounters is a platform that gathers together artists from different art fields to inspire one another and offer the possibility to create new forms of artistic partnerships and collaboration.
Through this platform we are also committed in addressing, through art, social issues and social change making impact. We use art to enlighten, educate and discuss subjects that are of great weight and concern in the society such as gender equality, youth empowerment, human trafficking, migration, homophobia, racism, inequality, gender based violence.

The artists who were on stage were:
Mufasa Poet | Ijakaa Imo | Mamboleo | Tarcisse Kana | Valentina Mmaka | Naitiemu Nyanjom | Dikson Kaloki | Florin Mmaka | Ian Msanii | RoyRoyboy | Stacey Ravvero | Peter Ngila | Clara Castells

Mufasa Poet | Dikson Kaloki | I | Peter Ngila

Clara Castells
Ian Msanii
Naitiemu Nyanjom
Stacey Ravvero



Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Arts to End Slavery

The 3rd of July marked the inauguration of the exhibition Arts to end Slavery organized by HAART Kenya and hosted by Kobo Trust.
Poster
The Artist exposing their work were:Paul Otieno Abwao, Rehema Baya, Lia Beharne, Samuel Githui, Immaculate Juma, Abdul Kipruto, Leevans Linyerera, Cephas Mutua, Lincoln Mwangi, Peterus Ndunde, Naitiemu Nyanjom, Brian Omolo, Joan Otieno, Nicole Riziki, Lemek Tompoika, Gemini Vaghela.
Spoken word poets Seise Bagbo and Roy Royboy along with guitarist Cusamusique performed during the event.

The 4th it was a closed VIP event where I had the wonderful opportunity to perform an excerpt of my play I...Immigrant... Woman... to want to say to write (staged in Europe and Africa and sill used in multicultural school programs) and met with interesting people all committed in different ways in fighting human trafficking.

The United Nations define Human Trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation.  Part of the human trafficking activities there's: forced migration, early marriage, sexual exploitation, traffic of organs, forced labor, bonded labor, domestic servitude, child soldiers.
Though it is outlawed everywhere, it exists globally.  According to latest global index 46 millions of people today live as slaves. The report indicates 167 countries where slavery still happens. Modern slavery is a multi-billion-dollar industry with estimates of up to $35 billion generated annually, I guess this statistic is not updated but it gives a sense of the impact in our societies. 

HAART Kenya is the only organization in Kenya working to end modern slavery. 
According to HAART:  Kenya has the highest rate of human trafficking in both Central and East Africa. As a source, transit, and destination country, Kenyan urban centers such as Nairobi and Mombasa provide both the supply and demand required to grow the industry. Often victims are trafficked either to or through Kenya from neighboring countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
Forced labor is the main form of human trafficking in Kenya, with 41.3% of Kenyan children ages 10-14 years of age being exploited for cheap labor within the country. Once taken, these children are put to work in industries such as agriculture, fishing, cattle herding, street vending and begging. Kenyans are also frequently lured to the Middle East and Europe with the promise of well paid employment. After their arrival, their passports and identification documents are often confiscated and their wages withheld, leaving them at the mercy of their employers.

It was indeed an exceptional event addressing this global and very important issue using art. As someone said: When artists give form to revelation, their art can advance, deepen and potentially transform the consciousness of their community.  Each artist of the exhibition had the responsibility to raise awareness on human trafficking because it is through art that reflection, identification, resilience overcome prejudices, stereotypes, judgement. It is through art that we build bridges and destroy walls for a world without borders, without barriers. In art we find a powerful tool that makes impact in our societies and through which is possible to resist  and fight back injustice in a revolutionary and constructive way.


Sophie Otiende and I


Seise Bagbo and Cusamusique
Sophie and Clara Castells
Seise Bagbo, I and Roy Royboy
Rehearsals time

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Arusha Poetry Club

Charles Bukowski was right when he said that Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.  I shall add that being with poets things just happen, things that wouldn't otherwise. When I'm with poets, no matter where,  I always get to experience a kind of exclusive feeling of belonging which otherwise I couldn't as I try to be detached from this feeling as much as I can, at least in regard to places. The only place I can really belong to is my writing and Art, in a more extensive way. 
I've spent a wonderful overwhelming week end in Arusha. I couldn't think of a better way to learn and share and I have to thank three special people: Charlotte O'Neal (aka Mama C), Edmond Azaza and Clara Castells who made possible my participation at the Arusha Poetry Club.
Whenever I go to new places I never go with expectations, I prefer to be overwhelmed in negative and in positive by the place itself... the surprise element is essential for creative minds and sensitive souls. Arusha struck me the first hour I set foot on its soil. I felt a good energy and positive thoughts and this even before brother Edmond (thank you for confirming what I felt) informed me about the spiritual nature of Mount Meru, just north of the city of Arusha, which corresponds to the geographic center of the Earth. Amazing how places speaks to our souls, and how they are all connected: Italo Calvino siad that all places communicate instantly with all other places and it cannot be more than true. 
Group Photo
With dada Mama Charlotte O ' Neal 
dada Charleen
with Edmond Azaza
Arusha Poetry Club
Edmond Azaza
Edmond Azaza and Tim Titere

Vicky Azaza








Monday, 19 June 2017

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Creative Encounters #2

Creative Encounters #2

Creative Encounters #2

Creative Encounters #2

Roy RoyBoy
Fadhilee
Creative Encounters #2 just happened on Friday 16th at The Kobo Trust, Kobo is known for promoting mainly visual art from East Africa, but now committed in hosting artists from different art's expressions to enlarge perspectives and share ideas.
It was a lovely evening with awesome artists from Kenya and the rest of the world.
Friend Hamid Barole Abdu was our special guest all the way from Eritrea, Italy, Kampala. Hamid is a poet and writer currently based in Kampala.
It was his first time at Creative Encounters for songwriter and singer Tetu Shani who made the audience sing and dance overwhelmed by his vibes and energy.
Part of our team of artists were musician Fadhilee Itulya, spoken word poet Roy Royboy, visual artist and poet Naitiemu Nyanjom, visual artist based at Kobo Trust Lemek Tompoika, the duo M-Tafsiri formed by Reagan Oduor and Amalie Asmild, contemporary dancer Moses Steel  and we had The African Band.

As our host, The Kobo Trust, will be soon inaugurating (July 2017) the  exhibition  Arts to end Slavery, we thought of starting a conversation with the theme of the exhibition so all artists addressed issues like identity, forced migration, human trafficking, sexual exploitation.
We all believe that art has the unique power to address social issues making impact and creating a platform for social transformation.

Creative Encounters aims not just to provide nice and original performances for the audience but mostly to build a platform for different artists to meet and share their work. It is immensely important and necessary for the Kenyan socio cultural context that different art's expression link to each other to inspire each other and set new ideas and new forms of collaborations.

Stay tuned for Creative Encounters #3 on July.