Nairobi

Create for the sake of creating

.Habari ya jioni my friends! Good evening from Nairobi, Kenya.

 

WOW what an inspiring week I´ve had here in Kenya with the Sweden@Kenya project. Sweden@Kenya is a forum for Swedish and Kenyan entrepreneurs within creative and cultural industries. Through discussions, masterclasses and studio work, the forum focuses on the economic potential of innovation, digitalisation and creativity. Built on the two countries’ expertise and experience, the Sweden@Kenya platform aims to explore the economical and societal potential of the creative sector and provide an exchange of knowledge and ideas.

I will write a post about the project itself later, but right now I feel the need to share some thoughts about CREATIVITY. I started with photography when I was 13 years old, and the camera became my very best friend. Photography took me to places I only could dream of, and all the amazing people I would met and work with along the way.

I started my own business when I was 17, as a freelance photographer and my mission was to work in fashion and commercial. Unfortunatley, the industry itself is very dirty and as a young woman, I got to see the sexism and the way women was sexual objectified in media. I noticed how my pictures changed along the way from a very urban kind of photograph to more commercial – I mean, I even created those pictures where the female model often got objectified in a way and then did the retouch in photoshop. I had to, to be able to make money.

My photography slowly but surley started to dissapear from my life since I started to work more with social impact, youth engagement and public speaking – I was working with another part of my heart.

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I would be lying big time if I said I havn´t missed photography. For the past 2 years I have been working with creating OhSnap! Sweden – a photography platform for young girls with the camera as our tool to challanges norms, beauty ideals and prejudices. So In a way I still had photography in my life. But this week, something happend inside of me. I came to live again, as a photographer. I was so inspired by the Sweden@Kenya Fashion show that the amazing Elin Frendberg CEO from The Swedish Fashion Council and the Kenyan Designer Sunny Dolat created, combining minimalistic Swedish and Kenyan fashion. When I saw Mauryn on the catwalk, my heart just screamed – I WANT TO SHOOT HER! – with the camera, haha. So I reached out to her on Instagram asking her if she wanted to join me for a photoshoot. To my surprised she said YES and got a team of a makeup artist, Sinitta, and stylist, Bryan.

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This is the results, after several years of not shooting anything like this.

Photographer: Felicia Margineanu
Model: Mauryn Theo
Makeup: Sinatta Akello
Stylist: Bryan Emry

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There is a big lesson learned here, that I think had to take it´s time. To create just for the sake of it. For the pleasure, joy and happiness. What I most definetly take home with me from Nairobi, is the butterflies in my stomach when I think of photography again. And that it is OK for things to take it´s time, to disconnect and detach from things. If it is meant to be, it will find the way back again.

My first visit to Nairobi, Kenya!

Jamo jambo my dear friends!

I´m home again after a short, intense but very excited viset to Nairobi, Kenya. This visit was within the project that I am a part of with The Swedish Insitute and The Swedish Embassy in Kenya together with different Kenyan entrepreneurs, artists and others in the creative sector.

In November we will have a conference in Nairobi where we want to lift up and disguss the challenges and opportunities within the creative sector. Different aereas that we will discuss is about sustainibility, fashion/tech, the creative sector as a business and public spaces.

Day 1

So on day one we went to the GoDown Art Centre where we met Joy and her crew. The GoDown Arts Centre is Nairobi and Kenya’s first center for current and innovative culture. The center acts as an incubator for companies in the creative industries – and artists – assisted by active and customized business support, facilities, technical and commercial networks, and financing. A development of the physical location of GoDown Arts Centre is meant to serve as an engine of renewal of the entire area. The GoDown located in an industrial area, but operations are being phased opening the possibility of a renewal of the entire area.

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Day 2

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It was truly inspiring to meet these different artist and to see and hear about their art and work. Afterwards we went to The Nest Collective and met up with George, Sunny and their crew. The Nest explores the troubling modern identities, re-imagine their pasts and remix the futures. They are createing work together using film, visual arts, music and fashion – dissecting and subverting the layers of how Africans are seen and unseen, what Africans can and cannot do, where Africans can and cannot go, and what Africans can and cannot say.

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Day 2
Day two was all abot work and planning for the conference in November, we met with our different groups and visited Marc Kamau at BRCK and iHub. BRCK is a team of software developers, engineers and technologists who are from Africa. They a long history of building things, such as Ushahidi, Crowdmap and the iHub. The BRCK was designed and prototyped in Nairobi, Kenya. They wanted a connectivity device that fit our needs, where electricity and internet connections are problematic both in urban and rural areas.

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Here is my awesome group! Mutua Matheka, photographer, Mwaniki Mageria, film producer, ME, and Brit Stakston, digital media expert and strategist. We are brainstorming and talking about how the creative sector can be a transformative force for change, and also how the creative sector IS A BUSINESS and the people who works in are doing very important work and that it´s not ”just a hobby”.

We also went to Mutuas studio and met his crew, Mutua and I are very similar in many ways. We both love photography and uses the camera as a tool for social impact, encourage new perspectives and lifting up young people. Mutua is one of Kenyas most popular photographers and has a very inspiring Instagram account, make sure to follow him! @Truthslinger

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Mutua also showed me and Brit around in Nairobi city. Wow the city is ALIVE! People everywhere, cool builings both new and from the brittish colony time. We got the best view over Nairobi on the top of the The Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).

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DAY 3

We all got invited to the Swedish Ambassador´s recidence and had a lovely lunch and work day planning once again, for the conference in November.

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And finally, can you possible be in Nairobi and not go to the national park to see the animals? OF COURSE NOT! 🙂

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