“Who I Am, Who We Are” is a pilot art project by Wambui Kamiru and Xavier Verhoest about the intersection of a nation’s temporal maturity and the social gains that have been made as a reflection of the idea of nationhood and how this is embodied through the sense of identity and the everyday interactions, a concept animated by the notion that today’s world reflects a reality both multiple and unique. Nowhere is this idea truer than here, in Kenya, at 50.
This project aims at creating adequate spaces where the individuality and the collectivity meet, a time and place of togetherness, stock taking and freedom of expression that can give meaning to the journey as Kenyans in land and history.
In answering questions about a common Kenyan identity, the project seeks to at an utmost level to affirm the idea of good citizenry. Conflicting forces of both progress and regression responding to the 2007 post-electoral violence, the new Constitution and the 2013 elections have shaped the present state of the citizenry within Kenya’s dynamic context.
“Who I Am, Who Are We?” interrogates the interactions, which are taking place with others and in public space and the ways in which these interactions become the basis upon which the world opens up for or remains closed. The project aims at creating adequate spaces, creating conversations and encouraging the public to go beyond their comfort zone; to enter personal reflection, and find new ways of translating personally and in the public sphere relevant themes at a time where we are attempting to reflect upon and commemorate the 50 years of Independence.
The two approaches: Body Mapping and a Silent Room. Both model the possibility of a society where each individual can speak and can be heard, thus creating the conditions for a more caring and respectful society. The material gathered will serve as a base for a research on Identity in Kenya.