We are more than happy to give you a little preview on the exciting project My Mother´s Mother by Syowia Kiambi.
The work My Mother’s Mother is a room installation that fuses women´s voices from both German and Kenyan urban spaces, women living in the middle class milieu. The domestic references created with wallpaper, floor laminates, curtains and ceramic cups symbolize both fragility and strength.
We all have aspirations for a better life that goes beyond the basics of food, shelter, income and love. Often the idea of what this life should consist of is influenced by the consumer market, is governed by our educational and work environment and influenced by political, business and social agenda´s. Thinking that we make choices completely on our own accord is wishful thinking. Gender issues are extremely coded and elusive to grasp in their entirety. Women are the backbone of social structures and they in various ways, hold varying degrees of influence, utilising often-subversive approaches in the shaping of our lives.
In the work My Mother´s Mother you will hear a few voices some content with their lives but most are in a battle of self-preservation.
Sybille Bauriedl is a geographer, researcher and activist on questions of urban development, economic globalisation, global environmental change and gender relations. Her spatial focus on cities is interrelated with perspectives on global relations and post-colonial condition. The last years she did research on energy and climate discourses for a deeper understanding of new global power geometries of exploitation and accumulation. Sybille Bauriedl works as senior researcher at the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies with a project on international climate policy and its translation into national and local policy. Kenya is her main case study. Additionally she works as lecturer at the geography departments of Hamburg University and Bonn University. She published widely on cities, gender and environment. Her new book „Wörterbuch Klimadebatte“ (transcript-Verlag) will be released in November 2015.
Miriam Syowia Kyambi (b.1979) is a multi-media artist of Kenyan and German heritage based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work combines performance with impermanent and permanent mediums including clay, sisal, paint and photography. Much of her work dissects and brings to question perception and memory. She examines how the contemporary human experience is influenced by constructed history, past and present violence, colonialism, family and sexuality.
Often the result is an orchestration that engages the viewer in a dynamic process that leaves behind a powerful visual impression.
Syowia graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA (2002) where she resided for five years before returning to Kenya in 2003.
She has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and grants including 2nd place in the UNESCO Award for the Promotion of the Arts; the Art in Global Health Grant from the Welcome Trust Fund in United Kingdom; a grant from Mexico’s External Ministry of Affairs; and commissions by the Kenya Institute of Administration, the National Museums of Kenya and the Art 4 Action Foundation in Kenya. Her work has been shown in Belgium, Finland, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States of America.
by Nabila Alibhai