Switcharoo was a collaborative project between French and Kenyan artists, both visual artists and musicians, that involved sharing different skills and cultures within ourselves and with the local community. The visual artists included Street Arts Sans Fontieres team from France and 3 independent Kenyan artists, including myself.
The program started off as a residency program with 12 artists (6 visual artists and 6 musicians) from both France and Kenya sharing a space in Nairobi in the months of November to December 2018.The visual artists created several murals with the community, which include a : Kibera Drive wall, inside Kibera slums , St. Dorcas Children’s Home in Kawangware, Mathare Dumpsite wall, Alliance Franchise wall in Nairobi CBD, the stairs at University way and Koja, the wall at Kilome Road, the wall at Walewale Rehabilitation centre in Jamhuri.
We had fun in Kibera ! The community got into a frenzy of colouring two bridges, a few metal structures and walls. That was full of enthusiasm, passion, hope and genuine connections.
Painting this beautiful mural at Alliance Francaise wall in Nairobi CBD was an amazing collaboration.We started off sketching with the team. Once that was done, the local community (mainly the street kids and random passers-by ) who cared to join us were free to learn, practise and explore painting. The team later did the finishing touches and the results were amazing! It took us two days. Everyone seems to have had an amazing experience!
Thereafter we went to Kilifi where we carried out more activities with the community till the end of December. We had an exhibition at Alliance Franchise in Nairobi in January 2019 that showed the collaborative projects we had.
This project brought about a colourful connection between people of various differences. It Brought hope and inspiration to children as we majorly worked with the kids in slums, in children homes and street kids. We saw them transform from a level of timidity to that of confidence through colourful expression. That was beautiful!
Stairway to heaven. located at University way, Nairobi.