274 Pages

Cultural Production and Change in Kenya

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Art, Culture and Society Vol 1 is the first in a series of books to be published by Twaweza Communications on the relationship between art and society, with special reference to Kenya. It is part of a cultural leadership initiative being undertaken by the organization through a reexamination of the arts as they are produced and studied. This volume brings together important reflections on the arts and is a major step in encouraging dialogue on the relationship between creativity and the human condition in the region. Significantly, it creates a space for university-based academics to engage in dialogue with artists and writers based outside institutions of higher learning. The conversations will bridge the gap between the two domains for knowledge production and enrich creative enterprise in Kenya, in theory and practice. As the essays in this collection show, the present global situation demands a way to conceptualise and theorise an ever growing cultural interconnectedness, sometimes manifested in art; and interconnectedness that draws from a myriad of cultures and experiences. Through the bridges of contact and cultural exchange distant images are mediated and brought closer to us. They are reinterpreted and modified. In the final analysis, culture is shown to be an important aspect of human creativity but separateness and boundedness is contested. Instead, culture is shown to be malleable and fluid. The essays bring in a new freshness to our reading of the creative arts coming out of Kenya.



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Published 15 June 2007
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EAN13 9789966151070
Language English
Document size 4 MB

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Art, Culture & Society Series Vol. 1
      
Edited by Kimani Njogu G OluochOlunya
Building Bridges
      
Building Bridges
Edited by Kimani Njogu G OluochOlunya
       
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Copyright © Twaweza Communications, 2007
Published in 2007 by
Twaweza Communications Ltd., P.O. Box 66872 - 00800 Westlands, Twaweza House, Parklands Road, Mpesi Lane, Nairobi Kenya email: info@twaweza.org website: www.twaweza.org Tel: +(254)020 3752009 Fax: +(254)020 3753941
Design and Layout by Catherine Bosire Cover design by Patrick Thirimu Cover photo Kitengela glass bridge designed by Nani Croze (artist) Photography courtesy of James of www.tsavophotographic.com
With the support of The Ford Foundation, Office of Eastern Africa
ISBN:9966 9743 7 7
Printed in Nairobi, Kenya
This book is dedicated to the late Ousmane Sembene (January 1, 1923 - June 10, 2007), a Senegalese filmaker and writer who contributed immensely in Africa’s post-colonial cultural awakening.
Dedication ------------------------------------------------------------------ v Acknowledgements --------------------------------------------------------------ix
Introduction ------------------------------------------------------------------ 1
Part One Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Part Two Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Music Music, Identity and Swahili Networks of Knowledge ----- 7 Mwenda Ntarangwi
Joseph Kamaru: Contending Narrations of Kenya’s Politics Through Music --------------------------------------27 Maina wa Mutonya
“‘Is Marwa!It’s Ours”: Popular Music and Identity Politics in Kenyan Youth Culture ---------------- 47 Mbugua Wa-Mungai
Youth Kenyan Youth and the Entropic Destruction of a Hopeful Social Order ---------------------------------------63 Bantu Mwaura
Behind Bars: Ngugi,Women, and the Rite/ Right of Passage ---------------------------------------------75 Garnette Oluoch-Olunya
MchongoanoVerbal Duels: Risky Discourse and Sociocultural Commentary ---------------------------------89 Peter Githinji
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Sports and Games in Kenya and their Role in Society --------------------------------------------- 111 Mwangi Peter Wanderi & Muya Francis Gateru
Building Bridges through TrichotomousYouth Identities in Kenya; Evidence from Code-choice ------- 129 Nathan Oyori Ogechi
Part Three Electronic Media Chapter 9 Reading FM Radio Stations in Kenya:  Opening a Pandora’s Box --------------------------------- 151 Christopher Odhiambo Joseph
Part Four Art and Space Chapter 10 The Story of The Godown Arts Centre: A Journey to  Freedom through the Arts -------------------------------- 169 Joy Mboya
Chapter 11 Art and Health Promotion: Creativity against  HIV and AIDS ---------------------------------------------- 187 Mary Mugo- WanjauKimani Njogu &
Part Five Leadership Chapter 12 Reflections on Intellectual Life and Knowing as a  Problem in Alamin Mazrui’sShadows of The Moon ------- 217 Ken Walibora Waliaula
Chapter 13 Political Culture and the Prospects of Multi-party  Democracy in Kenya: Lessons Learnt from the Centre  for Multiparty Democracy-Kenya (CMD-Kenya)------ 245 Njeri Kabeberi
List of Contributors ------------------------------------------------------ 260
 This book is a collection of important and thought provoking articles presented and discussed at Linkages workshops in Nairobi organized by Twaweza Communications. The workshops, which have created spaces for dialogue between academicians and artists in Kenya were funded by the Ford Foundation Office of Eastern Africa.We are immensely grateful to The Regional Representative, Dr. Tade Aina and the Ford Foundation staff for making it possible to address Art, Culture and Performance issues in Kenya. Equally, we are thankful to the participants who provided valuable input into the presentations by raising questions and suggesting pertinent solutions. We are also indebted to the contributors who took the time to think with us about cultural leadership in Kenya.They raise key questions about the arts, culture and media. We hope that the issues raised in this book can become points of reference in examining how the arts are taking shape in Kenya. The hard working team at Twaweza Communications deserves gratitude for organizing the Linkages Workshops,various follow up activities and for carrying forward the cultural leadership agenda. I am grateful to Catherine Bosire for typesetting the manuscript and designing it to completion. We thank you, the reader, for taking the time to read this book. We hope that you will find some insights between these pages. This book is part of the leadership work being undertaken in Kenya by Twaweza Communications. Whether it is to develop cultural leadership throughJahazi:The Culture,Arts and PerformanceJournal,interactions between academicians and art practitioners, the development of Kiswahili, networking with the media, mentoring younger scholars, or engaging with political parties in Kenya to assemble viable platforms, Twaweza Communications is surely making a difference in the conceptualization and realingnment of leadership in Kenya. We would like to thank all those who make our work possible.
Kimani Njogu NAIROBI.