Artist and activist Kawira Mwirichia is a Queer, African, female visual artist with an innate desire to change the world through beauty that inspires and educates the community.
Now she has been selected by The Nest Collective (Nairobi) in collaboration with WeTransfer and The Dots.
Kawira’s project, To Revolutionary Type Love, is a mashup of the traditional crafts and tribal customs of a Masai market with the contemporary art scene that provokes conversation using traditional east African khangas to celebrate the evolving LGBT communities and send a message of love. Kanga/khanga's are vibrant patterned cloths with Swahili phrases often used as a gifting symbol of celebration in East African cultures. Kawira uses this familiar texture in contemporary illustrative styles to enhance messages around queer love.
“There are ways you can hide images in the abstract pattern,” she says. “It was a very interesting medium.”
“I realized it’s something that may not happen for many queer people in Kenyan society, that open gesture of welcome. That really moved me, so I wanted to use the medium of the khanga to celebrate our love.”
The To Revolutionary Type Love partnership is made possible with AFRA-Kenya, and support from the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, The Heinrich Boll Stiftung East & Horn of Africa, and The Goethe Institut Nairobi.