Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Thadde Tewa

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Lamu Space Station


The Lamu Space Station is a nomadic and interactive initiative, centered in community artivism, from which different reflections and actions contribute to promote a more harmonious relationship with the environment. When we imagine local futures, we want to use local materials and local artisans. For instance, we worked with a Masai craftsman named Jackson to develop the Lamu goggles.

Thadde Tewa interviews the developers of the futuristic installation: Lamu Space Station
Lamu Space Station | Courtesy of Earth Force Climate Command (EFCC)

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Moira Bushkimani


I grew up in a neighbourhood next to Kibera, so even as a child I found some joy looking for treasures in heaps of trash with my childhood friends. I would then take these objects back home and tell elaborate stories about them. So using found objects has always been a norm.

Thadde Tewa meets Moira Bushkimani from Kenya.
Moira Bushkimani posing with her work | Courtesy the artist

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Jelili Atiku: Performance Artist & Activist


To those who aspire to performance in Africa, I would like to tell them that it’s not new. Performance has been our ancient practice for a longer time. Just do it because it’s in our DNA. For those who are not Africans, they need to accept that it’s the purest artistic form. It has no divine methods, rules and regulations. Everything depends on you and you decide how you want the audience to see you. If you choose to use your body as a material, believe that it’s meaningful and very important.

Thadde Tewa in conversation with Jelili Atiku
Red Day (detail), 2017 (see note 1)

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Onyis Martin


I have always considered Onyis Martin as a big name– more so than any other Nairobi contemporary artist I’m familiar with- perhaps because I find his work to be so unique and intriguing, so charged with time and bearing the daily Nairobi urban life stories and politics.

Thadde Tewa on Onyis Martin
Onyis Martin in the studio with his “What is the new normal?” series | Kobo Trust, Nairobi | Photo: Eric Gitonga | 2020

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Prina Shah


She shares with me her findings that we humans not only have a body but also a mind and energy. The mind is a muscle; it needs care just like the body. The question is what do we feed it with? And what does this state look like? Whatever we are thinking inside reflects or vibrates out of us. Prina shares this questioning and experience in her work.

Thadde Tewa, Nairobi, meets the Kenyan artist Prina Shah
Inner Whispers XVII, 2019

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