Here's our first C& SPECIAL PRINT ISSUE #Nairobi focusing on the great art scene of the city – written and edited by the participants of our C& Critical Writing Workshop in Nairobi. This issue was exclusively authored, designed and printed in Nairobi, where it was distributed all over the city beyond the usual art hubs and institutions.
Contemporary art from African perspectives is extremely rich. Needless to say, this intense and broad art production requires critical voices – from Lagos to Nairobi to Lubumbashi to Harare to Luanda – to contextualize and document it.
In March 2014 we held our first C& CRITICAL WRITING WORKSHOP in Lagos. The feedback from thirty or so young journalists and our four tutors – senior journalists from Nigeria, South Africa, and the UK – was extremely appreciative. This was reason enough for us to plan a whole series of workshops in various cities on the African continent with the generous support of the FORD FOUNDATION.
The objective is to build sustainable networks and offer participants a platform to create opportunities for exchange across different areas of cultural practice. This is about broadening the basis for discussion with and contributions to C& as well as to other outlets: let there be as much creative critical writing as possible.
The first stop of the Ford Foundation funded workshops was Nairobi, from 3 to 8 December 2016.
From a huge number of applications we selected an interesting, talented, and committed group of young art writers mainly based in Nairobi, as well as from Kampala, Addis Ababa, Kigali, and Arusha. Their energy, seriousness, and engagement lead to great discussions, new friendships, and insights, leaving tutors Zihan Kassam, Thom Ogonga (both from Nairobi), Hannah Pool (London), and Sean O’Toole (Cape Town), as well as ourselves, deeply inspired as much as impressed.
To mark this remarkable encounter we felt it was appropriate to produce a special print issue with contributions by all the workshop participants. This issue was written, designed, printed, and distributed in Nairobi with Rose Jepkorir and Francis Ronjey bringing it all together on the ground.
We have produced 10,000 issues that are being circulated “guerrilla style” all over Nairobi. The idea: let’s go beyond the usual art hubs and institutions, let’s make it possible for any person walking on the street to get their hands on an issue. They might realize that it’s actually their neighbor, cousin, or a friend of a friend who is this amazing young writer. Who says that what these writers have to say only interests experts from the art scene? Exactly. So enjoy this very special issue.
The C& team
Read the full Print Issue here.