By Ogova Ondego
Published November 2, 2014
The November 2014 arts calendar begins on a high note with high profile art auction and exhibition in Nairobi.
First in the blocks on November 3 shall be the second Contemporary East African Art Auction that is scheduled to take place at Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel from 6.00 PM.
The auction, that features work from 51 artists from six eastern African countries in 57 lots, is organised by Circle Art Agency. The agency’s director, Danda Jaroljmek, says the art work on sale was “acquired directly from the artists or from collectors from as far as the United States and Thailand.”
The second event on the calendar shall be Coast Comes Upcountry exhibition at Alliance Francaise on November 6, 2014 from 6.30 PM. A month-long event, it shall feature the work of 15 coastal artists, “each with a distinct signature but all basking under a common influence of sea, light, coconut trees, colour and atmosphere”, according to Alliance Francaise. It is organised by Alliance Francaise of Mombasa in collaboration with the Mombasa branch of National Kenya Visual Artists’ Network (NKVAN).
To mark World War 1 centenary, Alliance Francaise shall on November 3-5 screen a five-part series of free documentaries and classical music concerts to commemorate this event in world history.
APOCALYPSE WORLD WAR 1, a new series from the directors of the critically-acclaimed APOCALYPSE WORLD WAR 2 (historical series with the highest rating worldwide) and APOCALYPSE HITLER (voted Best Archival Documentary Series by History Maker, New York 2012),Isabelle Clarke and Daniel Costelle, shall run every evening at 6.00 for three days. Each episode runs 52 minutes and features rarely seen footage that brings to life the experiences of the men and women behind and on the front lines.
Come November 8-9, French pianist Maxime Zecchini,one of the few pianists in the world who specialises in the repertoire for the left hand, shall perform Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand accompanied by the Nairobi Orchestra,one of the oldest amateur orchestras in Africa, founded in 1947 by Italian Prisoners of War after World War II.
Alliance Francaise says “This piece was commissioned by the Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein who lost his right-arm during World War 1. It will be performed for the first time in Kenya.”
The concerts will be conducted by Damian Penfold, marking the 10th year of his association with the Nairobi Orchestra. Damian Penfold has worked with the English Symphony Orchestra, the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, the Strasbourg Philharmonic and has conducted throughout Europe.
Kenya violinist, Brian Sempele, who has been the concert master since 2013 and has had the privilege of performing with international music stars including Jacques-Greg Belobo, Riccardo Muti as well as with the Soweto String Quartet and the London Garden Opera, will be the leader.
Running during the day on November 8 and 9 at the same venue shall be an event called Uumuntu Cultural Festival that shall showcase what the organisers describe as “the best of cultural, contemporary, folk and acrobatic performances from Nairobi County youth groups under the banner ‘Our Diversity, Our Strength’.”
The 4th edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival that is expected to “bring to life human rights abuses through storytelling in a way that challenges each individual to empathise and demand justice for all people” is scheduled to run at Aliance Francaise November 10-14 every evening at 6.00.
The monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff), billed as Nairobi’s longest running and most consistent film platform, shall run at Goethe-Institut on November 24 at 6.00 PM.
A ‘by-invitations only’ event held every last Monday of the month with the aim of screening and critiquing films, encouraging filmmakers and exploring ways of integrating film production in eastern Africa with other socio-cultural and economic sectors in order to come up with a veritable motion pictures industry, LKSff is often one of the first places where new films can be seen and young talent spotted.
LKSff is one of the five programmes of the Lola Kenya Screen (LKS) audiovisual media festival, skills-development programme and marketing platform for children and youth in eastern. It is presented by ComMattersKenya/ArtMatters.Info in collaboration with Goethe-Institut.