Africa Fashion Expanded

Key information

4:00 pm
Event type

About this event

We are pleased to host online the second event in the SOAS/V&A Africa Fashion Expanded Series.

  • Artist’s Talk: Syowia Kyambi
  • Discussant/moderator: Don Handa
  • Chair: Elsbeth Court (SOAS)
  • Time: 4:00pm London/GMT - 7:00pm Nairobi/East Africa time

About the artist

Syowia Kyambi is an interdisciplinary artist and curator who works across photography, video, drawing, sound, sculpture and performance installation. She holds an MFA from Transart Institute, accredited by the University of Plymouth (2020), and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2002). In Kyambi’s artistic practice history collapses into the contemporary through the interventions of mischievous and disruptive interlocutory agents who interrogate the legacy of hurt inflicted by colonial projects that still frame the wider political conjuncture of our contemporary times. Her approach takes aim at the politics of now and its impacts on our daily lives.  What is remembered, what is archived, and how we see the world anew. The work is complex and uneasy, requiring its viewers and participants to bear witness to an embodiment of collective experiences. Kyambi is in constant search for alternative methodologies to assist her in navigating the conundrum of our lived experiences in order to create the potentiality for alternative futures.She opens her gullet like a pelican in an effort to ingest the intangible.

About the discussant

Don Handa, a Kenyan curator and art writer, leads exhibitions and programmes at the Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute (NCAI). His most recent curatorial project was the Nairobi iteration of Mwili, Akili na Roho (Body, Mind and Soul): 10 Figurative Painters from East Africa. Previously, he was the manager of Circle Art AgencyHis publications include a conversation with Michael Armitage in the Haus der Kunst catalogue for Paradise Edict (2020) and catalogue essays for Sidney Mang’ong’o: Imagined Structures (2018); Shabu Mwangi: The Stateless (2017).  He is the co-founder and co-host- with Nyambura Mutanyi of CORPUS, a podcast on contemporary art from East Africa.

Event recording

Image: I have Heard Many Things About You (2016) in performance (video montage: C. Koise)