Reportage

REPORTAGE

Utamaduni, all kenian creativity in one place

Shop-art exhibition in a Karen, Nairobi villa

23-01-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo

You can contain all the creativity, craftsmanship, culture and traditions of Kenya in one space. Surely it's an impossible task, even if the space in question is a two-story villa with lots of rooms. But you can try, as Karen's bazaar in Nairobi, "Utamaduni", has done, which is much more than a store and something more like a permanent exhibition.
Opened 31 years ago, in June 1991, by the late paleontologist and conservationist David Leakey, for many years director of the National Museum of Kenya, "Utamaduni" (which means "culture" in Kiswahili) is a journey into the handicraft creations of Kenyans. It ranges from classic, iconographic ebony figurines of all forges and meanings, to soapstone work and textiles. Some of these objects are visible more or less in any store, stall, curio shop for tourists in the country, but going into every single room, you can find peculiarities that come from every corner of Kenya and also show other skills that over time, thanks to the interaction with other peoples and the suggestions of the internet, have been refined and have created beautiful works with ceramics, noble metals and much more. But "Utamaduni" is also a showcase for any local production that deserves to be brought to the attention of visitors: from coffee to other food products to objects created using recycled materials. In short, it's a beautiful journey through a Kenya that is only apparently well known, and for this reason invites further study, for those who still know how to be surprised by the details. In the video service the proof of what we have written. (IN ITALIAN)
 

 

TAGS: artigianato kenyacultura kenyacreatività kenyam

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