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Cover Story: PROTEST ART

Sisi Kwa Sisi

Sisi Kwa Sisi

More than 50 years after independence Kenya has no national art gallery or a calendar for art events at least state sponsored. Development and dissemination of art has been carried on through individual talent and effort using privately owned galleries, curio shops, foreign cultural centres and a myriad other trials. Through these channels three commercial aspects of art have evolved and thrived namely sign/mural-painting meant for social marketing and amusement in public spaces; ‘airport art’ masquerading between curio and fine art and lastly; ‘serious art’ meant for the expatriates, corporate and well-to-do members of East African society.

Regular Columns

Indigenous or ‘Outdigenous?’

Indigenous or ‘Outdigenous?’

Before revisiting the topic for this edition, I first re-read an article on minorities which I wrote in July, 2010. I had then argued, with some fervour, that Kenyans should strive to respect the provisions of a new constitution which guaranteed minority rights. At the time, I was thinking very much of those who identified themselves as nationals but who were deemed minorities through number, through race and through religious persuasion, or lack of it, within well-defined national boundaries. The intervening years have focused international attention on minorities seeking to infiltrate such boundaries through migration, largely to the West. However,...

Bleak Times

Bleak Times

Identity politics is consuming us all, at home and abroad.  It is dominating our daily discourse on all fronts. Minorities are on the march everywhere, seeking a space and voice for their particular grievances.  They demand respect and recognition, and some are quick to take offence at even slight criticism or reasoned disagreement.   I may be coming across as a reactionary old fart, but let me at least play the devil`s advocate!  So what is the big picture?  Protest is in the air all around. In British academia, there is continuing controversy about the so-called `no platforming` and its allied `safe space` phenomena, both American imports. `No platform(ing)` is basically...

Special Feature

Tinga Tinga Tales

Tinga Tinga Tales

Kenya National Theatre September 2018 Reviewer: Diana Lee-Smith Taking part in songs, dance and stories with larger than life animal characters coming from all directions and surrounding the audience makes Tinga Tinga Tales a thrilling show for children and adults. It has played to packed houses in Nairobi and was set to play in New York in October 2018, where it would...

Twentieth Century Africa Travelogue - Madagascar

Twentieth Century Africa Travelogue - Ma...

‘Queen Ranavalona hated Christians and many were burned at the stake or thrown off the cliffs. Christianity was denounced among the various peoples throughout southern Madagascar. In 1835 missionaries left the country fleeing the rage of the Queen. The campaigns lasted until 1857, four years before the Queen died. She began her rule in 1780.’

Beyond Safaris and Bollywood

Beyond Safaris and Bollywood

We, my husband and I live in Goa, on the west coast of India. It is famous as a tourist destination, mainly for its beaches. In the past it was a destination for hippies but now we have chartered flights from all over the world, UK, Ukraine, Russia and Israel. In the years we have lived in Goa I have again...

AwaaZ Magazine Fundraiser

Mary Muthoni Nyanjiru was a Kenyan patriot. On 23 March 1922, following the arrest of their leader Harry Thuku, a crowd had gathered outside the Police Station in Nairobi (presently at the site of the Fairmount Norfolk). The colonial forces open fire and Nyanjiru was among the first to die among 250 people killed that day

Photo: Courtesy of the Nairobi National Museums of Kenya and the National Museums of Kenya

Supported [in part] by a grant

Foundation Open Society Institute in cooperation with the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa of the Open Society Foundations

Friends of Awaaz

Yash and Jill Ghai, Mohez Karmali, Gijsbert Oonk, Vijoo Rattansi, Victoria Commercial Bank Charitable Trust, I& M Bank, Willy Mutunga, Chandaria Foundation, Asian Foundation

About Awaaz

Awaaz is a magazine published tri-annually out of Nairobi, Kenya. It aims to provide a broad platform for debate and reflection on issues of both contemporary and historical interest. What started off in 2002 as a focus on the role of the South Asian community in the historical, political and socio-economic spheres of Kenya; has now broadened to cover the larger debates on diversity, democracy, human rights and social justice. The magazine also critically examines the role of minorities both as communities in Kenya and East Africa; as well as a concept of human rights in a society be they ethnic, racial, gender based, sexual or political.

Footsteps

Jak Katarikawe - An Immortal East African Artist

Jak Katarikawe - An Immortal East African Artist

By Margaretta wa Gacheru Jak Katarikawe was a beloved East African artist who wasn’t ju...

Literary Meaning In Joseph Kamaru's Songs

Literary Meaning In Joseph Kamaru's Songs

By Kanyi Thiong’o Different scholars of Literature have in the past researched on the l...