Kenya Arts Diary is the brainchild of Nani Croze, the founder of the Kitengela Glass & Art Centre. Through the initiative, the Kenya Arts Diary has in the last six years - since its inception in 2011 - sought to profile upcoming visual artists and showcase their talents to the public through the compilation and publication of their works in a diary format, which is available at the Nairobi National Museum gift shop, bookstores, galleries, other museums and retail outlets countrywide. A portion of the artworks featured in the diary are displayed in this exhibition. The proceeds from the sales go back towards funding their mentorship, residency at Kitengela Glass & Art Centre and promoting their work.
This year’s event was facilitated by the Heinrich Boell Foundation, National Museums of Kenya, the Route to Food Initiative, and award-winning musical artist Juliani.
Art being one of the most effective media for social change, the Kenya Arts Diary initiative seeks to give Kenya’s vibrant, ever-growing art scene the deserved exposure and audience by further seeking to connect the public to both upcoming and established visual, performing and film artists. This initiative supports the artists’ well-being by emphasising on an enabling creative environment, the existence of relevant freedoms of self expression and interaction to be creative and the right to debate on current socio-political issues.
Creatives tell stories using paintings, drawings, photographs or sculptures as well as through music, dance, poetry and film; and it is in this context that we chose to recognize other forms of Kenyan content by showcasing the trailers of 2017 Student Oscar Award-winning Kenyan short film Watu Wote and Thank You for the Rain and as well as the Route to Food video infographic. These works tell stories on security and religion, the politics of hunger, and climate change while also touching on the everyday realities of the nation.
This exhibition ran from 25th October - 4th November 2017 and ended in a live performance by Juliani and other artists as the 2018 Kenya Arts Diary was officially launched on Saturday, 4th November 2017 at the same venue.