McMillan Library has been open all this previous month for the newly established Nairobi House Station to show the multi-facets of its members’ analysis into ‘Nomadic Futures’.
An extension of the Lamu House Station, the Nairobi Station formally closed final Saturday with an immersive expertise that included artwork installations in addition to wearable artwork, all of which had been geared toward imagining Nairobi’s future in 2299.
Contemplating how town will look sooner or later has led a gaggle of younger Kenyans to suppose deeply about what’s to be completed about Nairobi, whether or not it turns into a utopia or a dystopia.
“We despatched a name out on Instagram inviting artists, designers, and scientists to use for a three-month challenge to develop ideas associated to restoring Nairobi’s atmosphere,” explains one of many Lamu House Station founders, Ajax Axe.
Different founder members are Abdul Rop and Lincoln Mwangi, each from Brush tu Artists Collective.
“We had been in search of artistic visionaries primarily based in Nairobi,” she provides. “We needed them to think about the environmental potentialities of town in 2299.”
Might these artistic visionaries conceive of a future in Nairobi wherein town is reforested, the rivers cleansed of all of the filthy air pollution, and Nairobi urbanites dwelling their finest lives?
Or will a dystopia of water and air air pollution and deforested wastelands affirm that no one bothered to heed the calls to vary their methods in 2023?
Because it turned out, the decision out obtained an awesome response, largely from millennials. However solely eight introduced their installations and wearable artwork on Saturday.
Three of the eight installations which were there all month greet you even earlier than you enter the Library.
Essentially the most putting are the 4 banners (created from six metres of cardboard packing containers, recycled and hung from the highest of McMillan’s majestic entryway by the Mathare-based artist Daniel Nuru.
Often known as the Archbishop of the Kanairo diocese, Nuru is a part of Mathare’s inexperienced motion which is the place he met Ajax again in 2019.
“Daniel painted 4 of essentially the most problematic environmental points going through Nairobi [Kanairo in Sheng] proper now,” says Ajax who additionally works carefully with Mathare’s Social Justice Centre.
The second set up, by Lincoln Mwangi, is a big pod created from recycled aluminium lids of oil containers (which appear like outsized sufurias), stuffed with mirrors and a seat the place one can ponder ‘Nomadic futures’, beginning with one’s self and the way they’ll clear up their very own act.
And the third is Abdul’s photo voltaic panel, which he wears on his backpack. Additionally within the pack is an influence financial institution enabling him to create his personal transportable vitality system.
“It’s clear vitality and it permits me to energy all my gadgets,” Abdul explains.
In the meantime, contained in the Library, essentially the most beautiful show is a cupboard stuffed with glass jars, every containing polluted water from each rivulet of the Nairobi River.
“Essentially the most polluted is the one at Riverside Drive,” says Ajax. It’s black with contaminants analysed by the one environmental scientist within the group, Wilson Chege, who, just like the others, wears a outstanding backpack designed particularly for all times as a nomadic futurist.
“My backpack incorporates a transportable water therapy system,” Chege tells the BDLife.
“The higher glass chamber is the place I deal with the river water utilizing cactus juice to take away contaminants. Then there’s a tube that takes the clear water all the way down to the decrease chamber,” he provides.
This ingenious plan is powered by the wind which will get activated by a refurbished umbrella that Chege units atop the backpack to catch the wind.
It could sound not possible however Chege goals to stay in a future utopia. “That may solely occur if persons are watchful of nature’s assets and deal with the environmental issues that we now face,” he provides.
Then there may be Angelia Cauri, a educated architect whose curiosity in artwork, expertise, and design led her to work in Digital Actuality.
However then, she was drawn to the idea of Nomadic Futures. She refurbished an previous gasoline masks, working with artisans from Kariakor.
Different members of the group embody Wanjera Kinyua, a storyteller dressed to resemble a vibrant poisonous butterfly which she says rose to guard the bushes from human beings, and Husna Nyathira who created a kids’s playground at Wajukuu in Mukuru slum.
Lastly, there may be Stoneface Pombaa (aka Brian Otieno) who’s a strolling tree forest, intent on reforesting Mathare the place he’s from.
Most futurists are hopeful, however doubtful, as Abdul says, “A utopia is unlikely, however we will work for it nonetheless.”