By Ogova Ondego
Published March 27, 2014
Sex and the City. How does that sound? That is the title of a three-week art exhibition scheduled to begin in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on April 3, 2014.
The exhibition, to be held at Alliance Francaise in the central business district of Nairobi, brings together painters Michael Soi, John Kamicha and Thom Ogonga in an event they say capture Nairobi’s Night Life.
Sex and the City comes on the heels of another provocative exhibition titled Value that ran at Kuona Trust in Nairobi’s Hurlingham neighbourhood between February 27 and March 13, 2014. Then, Kuona explained that that exhibition by Tahir Carl Karmali captured male prostitutes of Nairobi who â€œpresent a provocative subject with traces of homosexual implications and male role stereotypes.â€
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â€œThe exhibition,â€ Kuona Trust had added, â€œis not simply a display of those in the sex industry, but an active force in articulating, shaping, and contesting the meaning of â€˜Valueâ€™ in the public sphere.â€
Now, less than a month after the end of Value, Michael Soi says, “Sex and the City is a continuous attempt to remind Kenyans of the things they do, especially at night. It is an exhibition that touches on commercial sex work and the denial that comes with it. For those who don’t do strip clubs, clubs and bars in Nairobi, it is an insight into what really goes on in these places.”
Asked what he has in common with John Kamicha and Thom Ogonga, Soi says, “We hang out in the same spots and we work on the same social topics.”
But if your conclusion is that these ‘same spots’ refer to massage parlours and bothels and that these artists paint from strip clubs, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Soi says they don’t work from strip clubs.
Meanwhile, Nairobi is on March 29, 2014 marking the 7th annual International SWAN (Support Women Arts Now) Day with speeches, performances and art displays by up-and-coming female artists at Kuona Trust. The theme of SWAN Dayâ€”a day set aside every year to celebrate Women in the artsâ€”in 2014 is ‘Soul’.
Kuona says participation in the celebration is free.