Syowia Kyambi’s talk will introduce her research into the legacies of Germany’s colonial presence in East Africa, and focus on two bodies of work, I Have Heard Many Things About You (performance & installation, Bremen, Germany, 2016) and Kaspale’s Archive Intrusion (photo collage series, 2019).
Kyambi is a Kenyan-German artist based in Nairobi. Her work probes issues of race, perception, gender and memory, examining how contemporary human experience is influenced by historical constructs: how the past affects the present, and shapes ideas of the future. Combining installation and performance, she uses stories and objects to explore connections between history, the psyche, and the entanglements of live identities.
Syowia Kyambi has developed commissions within Kenya for the Institute of Administration, the National Museum and the Art 4 Action Foundation. An alumna of Chicago’s School of the Art Institute, she was a 2017 Smithsonian Fellow, was shortlisted for the 2016 Financial Times Emerging Voices Award and in 2012 received a Art in Global Health grant from the UK’s Wellcome Trust Fund. Her work has been shown in museums in Belgium, Finland, Kenya, Mali, Sweden, Germany, Zimbabwe, France, United Kingdom, Mexico, South Africa, North America and Ireland.
This talk is part of a series being held alongside the residency Carrying Histories which looks at the responsibility and burden of working with historical subject matter, with the aim of building cross-cultural awareness of past and present power structures. The residency is developed with Nairobi based artist Syowia Kyambi in collaboration with Oslo Kunstforening. PRAKSIS would like to thank the Goethe Institut, Oslo Kommune and Norske Kulturradet for their support of the residency and its events. Further information on the whole talk series is available by clicking here.
Video Still Documentation Credit: Cantufan Klose