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NAIROBI’S “SPEAKING WALLS”: Artists, TICAH, Safer Nairobi Initiative and NMS launch the Nairobi Mural Movement #ALAAA!

Our initiative is to bring young people into the open spaces and to bring people together

The Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH) in collaboration with local artists, Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS), the Safer Nairobi Initiative and the GoDown Arts Centre to launch an art movement to beautify Nairobi with colorful murals to showcase the vibrancy and creativity of the city. The partners are calling the movement #ALAAA! – the sound of astonishment that people will make when they come across the amazing works of art around the city.

The #ALAAA! Mural Movement started with a mural created on Saturday, 8 May 2021 and Sunday, 9 May 2021 at the Moi Avenue Primary School perimeter wall on the globe roundabout side. The theme of the piece is the art and vitality of the streets of Nairobi and feature work by artists Allan “Think” Kioko, Michael Nyerere, Solomon “Solo” Luvai, Rose Ahono, Collins Oduor, Leevans Linyerere and Wilson Matunda. Another three murals are lined up starting with one at Muthurwa  . The curatorial team is actively scouting new locations and talking to artists to create the next batch of murals for the city to enjoy.

The artists worked for two days to complete the beautiful mural honoring the women and life of Muthurwa and the city.

Humphrey Otieno the Liaison Officer at Safer Nairobi Initiative who helped bring the project to fruition said the movement fits well with the Safer Nairobi Initiative’s mandate to work with young people, connect with the public and promote crime prevention through environmental design by activating public open spaces. “Many youths are in the arts sector and have been affected by pandemic. How do young people work together with the county government? Our initiative is to bring young people into the open spaces and to bring people together. We are adopting a participatory approach to tactical urbanism where we aim to be inclusive and to listen to our communities’ voices.” Mr. Otieno said. “I shared with the council of governors who also wanted the artists to create more murals. There’s no need for boring walls that say nothing. How do we get speaking walls?”

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