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Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project Kenya

The Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project in Kenya will present the opportunity for young Kenyan women artists and architects to connect with Indigenous American women artists and architects living in the United States through a nine-month cultural virtual exchange that will result in three collaborative online exhibitions.This exploration will help the young women to conceptualize how their cultures intersect within the framework of a number of issues pertaining to the access to affordable housing, urban planning, environmental policy, and traditional architectural representation. 
Traditional forms of Indigenous or African architecture have often been misrepresented in mainstream media and academia. The majority of Indigenous peoples reside in rural areas, building and living in structures constructed with materials that have been obtained locally. These structures, often created through the use of architectural techniques, have been utilized for generations. Unfortunately, a myth exists that Indigenous vernacular architecture is substandard, temporary, or for the poor. Indigenous communities from the Americas and Africa are continuously striving for environmental stability through architectural design. However, these communities are often met with natural and governmental challenges that have threatened the traditional value of vernacular and cultural practices of various architectural styles.
When thinking broadly of architecture, the masterpieces of the past inevitably come to mind; buildings constructed to withstand the passage of time, that have found an ally in age, cementing themselves in the history of humanity. According to aesthetic and practical architectural standards of urban society, traditional housing structures of Indigenous American nations utilize similar construction techniques of Kenyans when analyzing wigwam or Pueblo-style of architectural manifestation alongside the Maasai huts— called manyattas— that were traditionally built by women.
All artists involved in the project should be between the ages of 18-35. Kenyan artist Fellows should reside in the the country full-time and all U.S. artist subcontractors should be of Native American or African American descent. As a result of artist exchanges, three online exhibitions will be displayed on the Soul of Nations Foundation and Soul Center for the Arts website.
The first exhibition will include works created by the lead local Kenyan artist, the second exhibition will include individual and collaborative works created by the U.S. artists, and the third exhibition will include one collaborative work created by both the U.S. and Kenya artist cohort. Each exhibition’s virtual opening will be facilitated through an online artist forum. Work will include proposals; elements of work that exemplify essential qualities of architecture which include the modulation, richness, and materiality of surface; photographs, works on canvas, and collaborative sculpture; and the orchestration and sequencing of movement, revealing the embodied power and beauty of contemporary vernacular architecture that is sourced from traditional techniques of Indigenous American and Kenyan culture
The overarching objectives of the Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project include (1) empowering marginalized youth and communities through creative and artistic expression, (2) further the understanding of Indigenous heritage from the United States and Kenya, (3) engaging in dialogue to gain a clearer understanding on what freedom and environmental stability looks like while examining current setbacks, (4) utilizing culture as a vehicle to expand discourse (5) creating and strengthening an innovative and progressive network among participants and community members, (6) examining historic challenges through a contemporary frame, and (7) encouraging personal growth and social awareness on a local, national, and global scale. Project themes: environmental stability and indigenous futurism

Meet the 2021-2022 Artist Fellows

Performance: Kinstallations

Screen Shot 2022-07-19 at 7.22.37 PM
Friday, July 122 2022 
7—8 PM (Toronto Time) 
MOCA Toronto, 158 Sterling Road, #100, Toronto, ON, M5R 2B7, Canada
Kinstallations is a collaborative performance of Indigenous-infused sound and movement made to evoke the sensations of humanistic flow and queer interconnectedness from the past, present and future. Portions of this sound will be sourced from an audio recording created through a multinational beading workshop between Dayna Danger, Regan de Loggans, and an audio recording of ten Kenyan Artist Fellows all involved in the Soul of Nations’ Green Architecture Project. Together, the artists will explore the concept of home in connection to culture, post-colonial identity, environmental stability, and architectural design. Kinstallations will explore how colonized peoples from different parts of the world are bound to one another through the architecture of home and body; their holistic collaboration offers insight into shared colonial traumas and politics of refusals, as survivors of ongoing colonialism.

Exhibition: Enkang’ Ang’: Our Home

Enkayukoni (the healer), Green Architecture Project, Kenya, Twala Tenebo Women Village, 2022. Photo: Kadesa Sarah. Performed by Lindsay Obath.
Friday, July 15, 2022 
6—7 PM (Nairobi Time) 
10—11 AM (New York Time) 
Artist talk: www.us02web.zoom.us/j/84761453174
Online exhibition (upcoming): www.soulofnations.org/viewingroom
Enkang’ Ang’: Our Home is a depiction of the rich Maasai heritage through three-dimensional scans, virtual reality simulations, a series of photographs, and short film created by a cohort of Kenyan female artists who visited Twala Tenebo women’s village and documented their hosts’ lives, including Maasai homestead history and design; diet; rituals; objects; and effects of climate change. Enkang’ Ang’: Our Home serves as futuristic nexus for culture and invites the viewer to meet prominent Indigenous women figures like Enkoiboni, a matriarch leader and spiritual oracle. This exhibition was executively produced by Lead Artist Fellow Naitiemu Nyanjom, in collaboration with Shamina Rajab, Natasha Khanyola, Jess Olago, Kadesa Sarah, Laissa Malih, Achieng’ Otieno, Mercy Barno, Rosemary Wangari, Antonate Aiko, Lindsay Adhiambo Obath, Dayna Danger, Regan de Loggans, and Wambui Kinyua. Rose Nenini, Antonia Kihara, Adrian Jankowiak, Stephen Kimani, and Longino Muluka served as cultural advisors to the artists. 
Click here to access the press kit. 

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