This is one of the freshest, most exciting projects I’ve had the chance to be part of this year – the putting up of small “billboards” (actually Adopt-A-Lights) featuring the work of a Kenyan visual artist. I love this because it is as public as a space can get and it ensures that people interact with good, contemporary art; are interrupted by it as they go about their days: “Look up and there’s art!” Fantastic! And I cannot think of a better choice of artist to have been the first for this – Michael Soi’s work is so completely Nairobi and colourful and funny and full of layers for interpretation. Great for this installation. (May this be the first of many more to come!)
See the work for yourself on Haile Selassie Avenue (from the roundabout going up toward NHIF) and also at Kingara Road (the dippy road behind Junction).
This installation all happened as part of the larger NaiNiWho* initiative which was an ambitious, inspiring festival throughout the entire City, a celebration of Nairobi neighbourhoods over a 12 week period which ended in August and now continues with various actions, events and conversations that are springing naturally from it. Take part by liking the facebook page (www.facebook.com/nainiwho) and following the twitter handle (@nainiwho). Be part of this ongoing and great possibility. Now that’s Fresh!
*NaiNiWho was started by the GoDown Arts Centre who continue to run the initiative which is however slowly but surely beginning to have a life of its own, mobilized by the people of Nairobi, which is a testament to the strength of the idea. Applause!
-image courtesy of the godown arts centre.