11-12-2017 by Freddie del Curatolo
The exhibition that Gian Paolo Tomasi entitled "Giriama Warriors" will be inaugurate next Friday, December 15, at 6 p. m. at the new art gallery "Artistaste" in Nairobi, next Friday, next to the Italian restaurant "La Salumeria".
The exhibition, already included in part in the 2012 Biennale of Malindi, illustrates in the words of the author, conceptual artist who uses photomontage as an instrument of art and design,"diversity as a tool for the near future to unite peoples. Those defenceless, humane warriors, with open arms, who have thrown weapons to the ground and embraced a joystick are all of us and the only battle that is worth fighting, to improve our lives and the world, is to exalt differences. as added value of our society.
This is the presentation of the exhibition, curated by Freddie del Curatolo.
GIRIAMA WARRIORS: DIFFERENT HEROES
There are those who call them "The last people".
“Last” is a word that we don’t like to use today, perhaps because it lends itself to too many conflicting interpretations.
Or maybe because we have forgotten the words of Jesus: "The last will be the first".
The Giriama is one of Kenya's less considered tribes, less rich and less powerful.
Yet their revolutionary spirit gave birth to the first revolt of the Kenyan people against the British Empire, which created the awareness of being able to fight for Independence.
In order to give the 44 tribes of this territory equal dignity.
Kenya's first "pasionary" woman was a giriama lady: Mekatilili Wa Menza.
He commanded a handful of “last people”, mostly peasants.
She was imprisoned twice in the early years of the last century and twice escaped from Kisii labour camps and returned to the coast.
The "giriama warriors" portrayed and re-elaborated by Gian Paolo Tomasi are heroes, but not only because they have carried on their shoulders the weight of being “last” and different, but because as visionaries, haruspices, ancient wisemen, they teach us that diversity will be the added, predominant value in the society of the coming years.
Revolutionaries with a joystick in hand and their traditional costumes, warriors of peace who do not forget their origins, like the thoughtful Obama of this exhibition.
Simba Wanje was the last King of the Mijikenda, an ethnic group made up of nine different tribes of which the Giriama are also part.
Mzee Katana Kalulu and Joseph Karisa Mwarandu received the title of National Heroes from President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Kalulu was the first driver giriama on the British Land Rover, fought with the Mau Mau and until the day of death he preached peace and national unity, going by foot from village to village to recite his prayers.
He was killed at the age of 94 because he was not going to sell the most precious asset he had, the land where he was born and where he lived.
Joseph Karisa Mwarandu, a lawyer, founded an association that is responsible for safeguarding and recovering the traditions of her people. Traditions that are inexorably disappearing, under the necessary blows, just and welcome in Africa, but often blind and summary progress.
The Giriama of Tomasi are heroes and warriors, because the real revolution today is to show proudly but without arrogance their own diversity and to confront each other, without feeling either last or better.
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