Publications

The Evolution of Kenyan Art and the Kenya Arts Diary

Supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation and coordinated by Nani Croze of Kitengela Glass, the Kenya Arts Diary has become a popular annual art exhibition in Nairobi, Kenya and identified with the Heinrich Boell Foundation. The diary has built a new physical but portable space whose multi-functionality allows local artists to display their craft, advertise their skills, join a regional network, and find belonging.

First published in 2011, the Kenya Arts Diary is a catalogue - complete with descriptors - of photography, installations, oils, acrylics, patch-work quilts, wood, cement and scrap metal sculptures, some from “stitched found objects”. The Diary also carries artists’ bios and a directory that provides artists’ contacts and announces the range of collectives and studios where contemporary artists pursue their passions.

 

 

Energy Futures in Eastern Africa

Publication
Whereas the momentum of economic development in the 20th century depended on abundant fossil fuels and centralized electric power, countries are now revisiting their energy strategies to reduce the risks of unpredictable climate change. Our countries are not exempt from this dilemma. Should they continue to power their transition from agricultural to industrial societies by exploiting fossil fuels and centralized power? Or is a different energy system possible? Which investments will get priority? Who will benefit from whatever energy system is put into place, and who will be the biggest losers? 
 
Produced by the Society for International Development (SID) with the support of  Heinrich Böll Stiftung, East and Horn of Africa Regional Office, this booklet presents and explores possible scenarios that could unfold in four Eastern African countries. The analysis and three stories presented imagine practical future scenarios for energy and how these would affect energy poverty in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.

Perspectives #03/2018: Through the Looking Glass: Images of African Futures

The Hollywood action movie Black Panther captured the imagination of audiences around the globe. In several African countries, it quickly became the highest grossing film of all time. The tale is set in Wakanda, a technologically advanced African kingdom that avoided the shackles of colonialism and slavery by isolating itself behind a guise of poverty and deprivation. Although what it presents as “African”, in terms of narrative and images, is far from uncontested, the film catapulted Afrofuturism – a discipline or aesthetic that enlists science fiction and technology to imagine black identities and futures unconstrained by past and present circumstances – from the avant-garde circles of artists and intellectuals into the mainstream.

Where Women Are: Gender & The 2017 Kenyan Elections

Book

Edited by Nanjala Nyabola and Marie- Emmanuelle Pommerolle, this collection captures some of the stories and experiences of women who particiapetd in the heated 2017 general election in Kenya. The stories shed light on the nuances and complexities facing women who choose to enter electoral politics in Kenya.

Perspectives #02/2018: Not Always on a Boat to Europe: Movements of Africans within and beyond the continent

The current public debate on African migration to Europe is largely fuelled by visions of boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea, filled with desperate people in search of a better life. The narrative positions Africa as a “continent on the move” whose people are surging into Europe on a seemingly endless tide. Although media images of desperate African refugees fleeing to Europe do portray the daily reality and the often-tragic consequences of the treacherous crossing, the framing conceals more than it reveals. 

Perspectives #02/2016: Laughing Out Loud - The Politics of Satire in Africa

When you write about Africa, make sure to always include sad and starving characters, advises Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainana in his famously ironic essay “How to write about Africa”, which takes aim at Western prejudices. In the same way that everyday laughter has been excluded from all-too-familiar depictions of the continent, African humour and satire as a form of social and political engagement remains underexplored.

Perspectives #03/2014: What Ya Looking At? Africa Returns the Gaze

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For this edition of Perspectives the Heinrich Böll Foundation asked a number of African intellectuals, writers and analysts to provide their take on Africa’s relationship with Europe. The result is a small collection of interviews, short essays and comments that throw light on the complexities and complexes of this relationship, using analysis, imagery, experience, provocation and humour.

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