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Sasa Nairobi

The exhibition series Sasa Nairobi is the basis of Goethe-Institut Nairobi’s work in the field of contemporary art with an emphasis on photography, video, installation, conceptual art and performance. The aim is to work with artists and curators from Kenya that have an advanced and innovative approach. 

Sasa Nairobi _ Kuona visit© Julian Manjahi



As part of the ‘Sasa Nairobi Project’ the Goethe-Institut engaged Dr. Chantal Eschenfelder, the head of the Department of Education and Mediation at the Städel Museum, to facilitate a one week workshop in Nairobi. The workshop engaged a group of 20 artists, curators and cultural practitioners in the way of developing various strategies in the current digital age. Apart from analyzing and visiting existing strategies, the workshop focussed on innovative approaches around framework programs and generating new audiences. Furthermore, the workshop will continue with the second phase in 2019, engaging another perspective from the African continent on the above mentioned topics.


In 2016, the decision was made to hold a workshop for curators. The aim of the workshop was to educate people who already have initial experience in curating exhibitions, basic methods, approaches and discourses as well as the concept and meaning of curating. It was important for the organization of the workshop to draw on a contemporary art scene from the African continent and to provide access to relevant resources and networks. Therefore, attention was paid to international curators from Africa. A group of participants consisting of the following eight persons was selected:
Thom Ogonga, Zihan Kassam, Rose Jepkorir, Mbuthia Maina, William Ndwiga, Nyambura Waruingi, Don Handa and Wambui Kamiru.
The workshop took place over a period of five weeks, with the first two-week part led by Azu Nwagbogu and the second part of three weeks by Raphael Chikukwa. The workshop combined both theoretical and practical elements, which consisted of visiting exhibition venues and artist studios. At the end of the project, the participants developed exhibition concepts and presented them to the consortium and representatives of the Goethe-Institut Kenya. Finally, based on the presentations and the successful participation in the workshop, three participants were selected to curate an exhibition in 2017, which would be subsidized by the Goethe-Institut.
Exhibitions that followed after the workshop include:

  • Remote curated by Zihan Kassan
  • Indulgence II curated Nyambura Waruingi
  • Proximity to Power curated by Thom Ogonga
  • Psychogeographia Nairobi curated by Rose Jepkorir 

  • Listen: An Exhibition introducing Sound of Nairobi: The City's Sound Archive (2019)
  • From Here to When by Onyis Martin and Longios Nagila (2019)
  • GZ Calling by Sam Hopkins and David Lalé (2019) 

Exhibitions in the context of Sasa Nairobi at Goethe-Institut Kenya, 2007-2016
- Jimmy Ogonga: Catastrophe: Images of the Transition, Selected Photographs.
- Miriam Syowia Kyambi: Gender, Power and the Past
- Nairobi24: An Exploration of a City by Photographers and Writers
- It’s a pity we only exist in the future – curated by African Maximalism
- Ato Malinda: Looking at Art, looking at Africa
- Just A Band: Trnsmssn
- Peterson Kamwathi: Sitting Allowance
- IngridMwangiRobertHutter: Intruder
- A Black Man´s View, A White Man´s Taboo – curated by Ato Malinda
- Sam Hopkins: Sketches
- Mwangalio Tofauti
- Afropolis: City, Media, Art – in collaboration with the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Cologne
- James Muriuki: Rear View
- Mbuthia Maina: In Memoriam – curated by 3Collect
- Mimi Cherono Ng’ok: Re: accumulating signs
- Michael Soi: The Face of Nairobi
- Jackie the 3rd: In the Case of Books
- Mwangalio Tofauti II
- Jacob Barua: Tunnel Vision
- Jackie the 3rd: Where Books Go To Die
- Paul Onditi: Pipes that Bind, Faces in Places
- Maasai Mbili: Chokora Wear – MA-LOOKS
- Just A Band: Perspective
- Jackie Karuti: There Are Worlds Out There They Never Told You About
- Jim Chuchu: The Bones Remember