The project is now moving forwards like an express train and we are really excited to see the different aspects of the project progressing so fast. Our call for artists ended mid- March and we got many talented artists sending their profiles and samples to us. We now have 28 amazing artists selected to conjure art pieces for our this years exhibition.

On Thursday 31st of March we had a Masters Class for our new artists at DustDepo. 23 of them attended and we had a great day with them. We started the day at 9am by having some introductions about HAART, PAWA254 and also of the participants. After this we had a HAART staff member introducing the artist with human trafficking. The introduction of the subject went great and the artists had many good questions and observations about the issue. The discussions could have continued for long with many insightful notions about human trafficking from the artists, but in some point we had to break for tea. After the break Patrick Mukabi, a well-known Kenyan artist who is working with us on this project, took over of the workshop. He went through different ways and techniques to work on this project and had some excellent exercises for the participants. There were different types of exercises from painting your partners colors to making self-portraits using different types of surfaces and materials. We ended the day at 3pm by having some tea, mandazis and samosas. All in all the day was a great success and we were super exited to meet the artists and see how exited they also seemed about participating in this project!

After the workshop we continued our way through afternoon traffick to a gallery called ShiftEye in Nairobi. We went there to discuss about the possibility of using their space for the launch of our exhibition on 30th of July and also keeping the exhibition there for the following two weeks. We left the place amazed not just because of the great space they had, but also because they agreed to partner with us for the project. So in just one day we got to meet most of our amazing artists and also got a space for our launch and for the exhibition. Pretty good day I would say!

The next step of the project is now to wait for the artists to turn in their concepts. After this they will be given the needed materials and the magic of art can finally start happening! We are also planning to have a community event on March in one of the slums in Nairobi. The idea is to raise awareness about human trafficking also there, seeing that low-income settlements are places where people are in desperate need of finding an income and thus are easily lured by traffickers.

We will write more on what is going on as our express train continues to speed forwards. Stay tuned!

By Katariina Ainamo