This book represents a collection of works by an ensemble of Kenyan photographers who are currently working alongside the dominant Kenyan photography discourse which most commonly displays an inclination towards photojournalism, fashion or the work of development organisations. It is a display of part of what is happening within the independent photography scene in Nairobi.
Mwangalio Tofauti – Nine Photographers from Kenya
Jacob Barua, Jim Chuchu, Sam Hopkins, Antony Kaminju, Miriam Syowia Kyambi, Barbara Minishi (with Cyrus Kabiru), James Muriuki, Boniface Mwangi, Wambui Mwangi
With an essay by Keguro Macharia
260 pages, English
Published in conjunction with the National Museums of Kenya
What the projects have in common is a strong consciousness of formal aspects and a reflection on the medium of photography. Hence the title Mwangalio Tofauti, meaning in Kiswahili “a different way of looking.” For instance, Just A Band‘s Jim Chuchu presents a series titled “Concrete Crystals” which is a display of digitally manipulated photographs of iconic architecture in Nairobi. The series delineates a stunning study of forms and patterns.
Historically, art in Kenya has been dominated by the media of painting and sculpture. Photography has been oriented mainly towards photojournalism, fashion, advertising and the ubiquitous publicity of NGO/Aid/Development organizations, which has had a considerable influence on the politics of images and visual discourse in Kenya. Exhibitions and projects have tended to be mainly message-driven. Nevertheless, apart from this dominant trope, photographers have still carried forward their own agendas, designs and projects, albeit on a rather underground, informal, and less visible level. – Contact Zones NRB
A second volume covering the work of other photographers from Kenya will be published in 2014.
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