Nile Project | Music of the Nile

A musical project aiming to create spaces for rich cultural interaction between Nile Basin countries launched its music gathering in Nairobi, Kenya at Kuona Trust Arts Centre.

nile project

The second edition of the musical residency — lead by Miles Jay — brings together 14 talented musicians from Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda who will, in a collaborative manner, compose a body of songs inspired by the Nile Basin’s diversity in music traditions and instruments.

alsarah performing

This year, the nile project plan was to build on the success of last year by inviting a more diverse pool of musicians, expanding its performance circuit to more Nile Basin countries, and launching the project’s education and innovation programmes at partner universities.

crew

The Nile Project not only utilises music as a common language, to bridge gaps across diverse cultures that exist around the Nile, but also hosts ‘Nile Workshops’ at universities, starting with Egyptian universities in late last year.

south sudan
The African tour set to take place this year’s residency will include not only concerts promoting the new musical collaboration but also talks and workshops on sustainability and development challenges of the Nile at universities in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt.

selam wit
In addition to the workshops, the crew is launching ‘The Nile Prize’ targeted at students who develop innovative solutions to regional challenges. These projects will be supported by the programme over the span of one year.

crying for mother nature

Through music and workshops, the Nile Project sets out to expose audiences to the music of neighbouring countries and offer a space of open dialogue around Nile issues. The project aims to connect the 11 nations, and 437 million people, who live around the Nile but that often fail at recognising themselves as a region.

egyptian music
Due to polarisation in these countries caused by tense political relations and conflicting media coverage, especially recently with the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam capturing headlines around the world, the Nile Project attempts to offer an alternative path for dialogue and communication among Nile Basin citizens.

the nile project

This is the Nile Project, celebrating the Nile day at Kuona Trust Arts Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Photography:: Joel Lukhovi

Laba Street Art Fest

Its Kampala, Uganda and its the Laba!

laba street fest

The show was amazing and the people full of energy. I wanted to post this images while in Uganda, but time was not on my side with the tight schedule of events I had on me. Above all, the travel in Uganda was worth it and i cannot shy away to say and thank all the wonderful people that hosted me while in this beautiful country.

sekolliville

But here are some of the images I thought might interest you the viewers across all the corners of the world.

drum beating

With its motto “Open Studio”, the LaBa ArtsFestival ’s seventh edition aim was to give visitors the opportunity for a look behind the scenes, in the art making process. The process of artistic production is important here, not just the finished product.

face piercing

But the creative bunch of around 60 individual artists were merely not working while the others can watch them, but engaged the public in their projects, designed just for the day.

fashion parade

The organizers added the element of the fashion parade that attracted a huge crowd of participants including the above models who chose to include the dog in the parade. A lot of glamour and passion for fashion.

dancing up

These men choose to have an installation of the big balls moving up and down in the air as they kept moving. Its an art group from the region of Kampala. I basically tried to understand their installation but somehow i got lost. Above all, the group impressed the people who came over.

malkia

Her performance was full of energy and moved the crowd to the top. I wish i had a better way of elaborating this but the image will do the talking for me.

say whatShe marveled and charmed the crowd all the way from the start to the end. Uganda has got talent indeed and this was only happening at the Laba street art festival.

lets take a moment

The music stage featured newcomers and some of Uganda’s finest artists of various music genres, adding on to the general diversity of the festival – Mackinnon Road which remained closed for the rest of the day was both dream, glamour and dance.

reggae queen

Her name is Efi and she is full of wonders and passion for her artistic gift. She was the Mcee as well as a musician who is full of determination.

over her

I love this photo. Not for because some awesome moment at a concert. It’s just a clean, sharp picture and that was really hard to get at the greatly crowded place that rarely allowed me to move around at the venue.

the end
The end of the show came, hours after midnight and it was time for me to say goodbye. I hope to photograph the next Laba street art festival and am more than excited to all the wonderful people I got to interact with. Blessings

Photos: Joe Lukhovi

Location: Kampala, Uganda

Portrait from Africa

The 1990’s brought a startling discovery to the international art world: some of the most artful portraiture ever created was produced in Africa over the last century. From the beginning I have always wanted to shoot this collection in East Africa, and this shoot captured what I was trying to do so beautifully. February essentially represents a take on an African aesthetic, and my African heritage coupled with the setting of East African portraiture really gave the concept it’s authenticity.

Portraits from Africa attempts to define the nature of portraiture in the world of art. Meshack Oiro.

Portrait from Africa attempts to define the nature of portraiture in the world of art.  Meshack Oiro.

The need to depict and commemorate individuals is as compelling a motivation for the creation of art in Africa as it is elsewhere. However, in Africa a portrait reveals the subsurface qualities that define the true nature of an individual and reflects the regard for the individual held by members of his community during his lifetime. Emphasis or exaggeration of physical features, a specific characteristic pose or stance, ornamentation or hairstyle, objects or tools associated with a person’s life or work, and actual naming of a piece after the individual are some of the techniques employed. These embodiments are regarded as transmitting more information than a superficial physical likeness. With this understanding of African portraiture, the initially perceived differences among worldwide portraiture cease to exist.

Representational likeness, however controlled is a factor in some african portraits traditions and it would be a mistake to deny its existence.

Photography: Joe Lukhovi

Subject: Meshack Oiro

 

Free will

I think the idea of freedom or liberty is really misused for political reasons, but its something that resonates with people to the core. People want to be masters of their own destinies, but at the same time, I think they do so selectively.

Sometimes they want to be told exactly what to do so they don’t have think for themselves as long as they can still exercise their free will.

The question is much more about understanding the will as part of the reality and about working in reality. Not wanting to work for or against the will is not merely a declaration. it is the awareness that only through autonomy and independence can art maintain itself beyond the laws of the market.