Reflections on Arts To End Slavery 2017

Reflections on Arts To End Slavery 2017

The Arts To End Slavery exhibition launched on July 3rd in the Kobo Trust Foundation in Nairobi. Following last year’s success this year was no different as it was also a great event. It was fantastic to see such great numbers attending which is very helpful in disseminating information and awareness on the issue of human trafficking in Kenya and east Africa; the goal of HAART Kenya.

HAART Kenya is an organization based in Nairobi that creates awareness on human trafficking and also directly helps victims of human trafficking. As part of the awareness creation, HAART started the project – Arts to End Slavery; or as we like to call it A2ES. A2ES has been running for three years now 2015, 2016 and 2017. This project usually runs through two weeks July 3rd – July 14th.

The Kobo trust was a beautiful setting for such an event. As darkness started to fall people and people started to arrive they were guided through to the art gallery by large fires each side of the path which was rather fitting for the event. Food and drinks were also available to the attendees. The atmosphere was very positive and we hope that it has made a lasting effect on the people who were lucky enough to attend the event. There was lots of discussion on Human Trafficking and people were left fascinated and inspired by the art on display.

This year, our theme was power dynamics and the role it has in human trafficking. We had different artists submit artwork that focused on this theme. Art has always had the power to re-direct the public to and make them look at themselves and their ideologies critically. This is mainly the motivation to use arts as a means to create awareness. The artists use different media such as painting, photography, printmaking, drawing, video, digital art, and sculpture.

Through our partnership with KOBO trust, we were able to hold the art exhibition at their venue. This year we had a bit over a hundred guests who came and saw and bought the artwork. The proceeds from the sale of the art go directly to the assistance of the victims and the other half goes to the artists who submitted their art. At the exhibition, guests also got to listen to music and poems around the theme of human trafficking.

July is a good month for HAART to raise awareness on the issue of Human Trafficking as on July 30th we recognize the United Nations anti-trafficking day. On the weekend of the 30th we also organized an art exhibition which has art that addresses human trafficking and the different issues around it which was held in the National Archives in Nairobi. Similar to the A2ES exhibition the event was developed by a creative hub that incubates programs and empowers creative people that produce art for social impact known as PAWA 254.

We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to each person who came over the course of each exhibition. By attending you have put your hand up and said you are with us against human trafficking. We commend you for this. For more information on HAART Kenya please contact us today on (0) 738 506 264 or e-mail on info@haartkenya.org

Join us at Arts 2 End Slavery 2017!

Join us at Arts 2 End Slavery 2017!

We live in a time of radical fast-moving shifts in politics, economics, industry, technology, belief systems, and cultures. Societal ills such as slavery, war, racism persist and constantly take different forms. Each of these challenges are identified, analyzed and reconciled within their respective disciplines but there is an emerging parallel thinking in art that attempts a similar investigation. To see artists take such a stance enacts the role and place of art and artists in their communities. It is also a means through which they may question and contest society’s traditional beliefs, assumptions, and actions. Art has always had the power to re-direct the public- to make them look at themselves and their ideologies critically.

In this year’s Arts to End Slavery exhibition, the artists tackle the conditions that lead to human trafficking and the power relations involved. Using media ranging from painting, photography, printmaking, drawing, video, digital art, and sculpture, they build upon the previous exhibition, Telling their Stories, which presented the observations, experiences and ambitions of the victims of human trafficking. The work presented makes an address to the play of power, policy, capital, colonization and civil unrest in human trafficking. Reflecting on how individuals relate and the cases that form in complex layers commodification, exploitation, confinement and dislocation of individuals. While others reference actual experiences that calls for the memorialization of these experiences, others put in individual effort to send hope and reach out to victims of human trafficking.

This exhibition is a multilayered questioning of collective human behavior and an appeal for a more egalitarian society with visible means of intervention, mitigation, and reconciliation.

The exhibition will run at the Kobo Trust till 14th July 2017.

Artists:  Paul Otieno Abwao, Rehema Baya, Lia Beharne, Samuel Githui, Immaculate Juma, Abdul Kipruto, Leevans Linyerera, Cephas Mutua, Lincoln Mwangi, Peteros Ndunde, Naitiemu Nyanjom, Brian Omolo, Joan Otieno, Nicole Riziki, Lemek Tompoika and Gemini Vaghela

Held in captivity

Held in captivity

Paul Otieno Abwao

Acrylics on canvas, 57.5 by 60cm

Ksh. 60,000

Colonialism and human trafficking

The negative forces of colonialism in Africa, continues to mold our independent Africa. Major colonial activities of the past affect us and contribute to our venerability. The brainwashing of Africa to believe that it is inferior, forceful acquisition of land, exploitation of its mineral and agriculture resources have forced it into poverty. With the acquisition of independence the situation has no gotten better. The majority remains in poverty and unemployment, desease is rampant, tyrants and military dictators continue to rule. In this work I will attempt to capture the cycle that often is characterized by escaping from poverty, being lost and homeless, displacement, poverty and unemployment due to poor economic situations.

Crossing the Mediterranean

Crossing the Mediterranean

Paul Otieno Abwao

Acrylics on canvas, 57.5 by 60cm

Ksh. 60,000

Colonialism and human trafficking

The negative forces of colonialism in Africa, continues to mold our independent Africa. Major colonial activities of the past affect us and contribute to our venerability. The brainwashing of Africa to believe that it is inferior, forceful acquisition of land, exploitation of its mineral and agriculture resources have forced it into poverty. With the acquisition of independence the situation has no gotten better. The majority remains in poverty and unemployment, desease is rampant, tyrants and military dictators continue to rule. In this work I will attempt to capture the cycle that often is characterized by escaping from poverty, being lost and homeless, displacement, poverty and unemployment due to poor economic situations.

Hope for employment and jobs

Hope for employment and jobs

Paul Otieno Abwao

Acrylics on canvas, 57.5 by 60cm

Ksh. 60,000

Colonialism and human trafficking
The negative forces of colonialism in Africa, continues to mold our independent Africa. Major colonial activities of the past affect us and contribute to our venerability. The brainwashing of Africa to believe that it is inferior, forceful acquisition of land, exploitation of its mineral and agriculture resources have forced it into poverty. With the acquisition of independence the situation has no gotten better. The majority remains in poverty and unemployment, desease is rampant, tyrants and military dictators continue to rule. In this work I will attempt to capture the cycle that often is characterized by escaping from poverty, being lost and homeless, displacement, poverty and unemployment due to poor economic situations.