AfroArt East Africa: Artist Stories (UC Berkeley)

Team Members: Susan Eberhard, Mugo Mutothori, Nenneya Shields, Dane Verrtah, Kun-Hyoung Kim

School: UC Berkeley

The urban arts centers of Nairobi, Kigali, Dar-es-Salaam, and Kampala are hubs for thousands of young and established visual artists, many of whom work in collectives or group studio spaces. The work coming out of East Africa is radiant and intelligent — it reveals slices of contemporary life from incisive, humorous and optimistic perspectives. It also varies widely in form; from painting, sculpture, and assemblage, to installation, photography, and digital media. Through on-the-ground fieldwork, this project plans to launch a one-month intensive documentation project in Summer 2015 to collect stories from the East African urban arts centers of Nairobi, Kigali, Dar-es-Salaam, and Kampala. These materials will be used to produce a series of short videos. The videos, photographs, and interviews will be presented together on the AfroArt East Africa website (www.afroart.us). An expansion of this project in the future will be used to assemble the short videos into a feature-length documentary, which will be presented in the United States, film festivals and other relevant venues.