During the last two weeks of April 2023, we shall be delighted to host four artists for the ACE-Residency programme in Okere. The arts for civic engagement program is brought through a partnership with KQ Hub Africa. The artists are;
Mercy Awino: Mercy is a lawyer and writer. As a writer, she wants to use her skills to shed light on important social and political issues of our time. She believes that storytelling is a more refreshing and relatable tool for advocacy as opposed to the more formal and sometimes boring academic writing. However, because of the nature of her job, she finds it challenging at times to retreat from busy schedules and take time to think, come up with creative ideas, and write. She hopes that taking part in the Arts for Civic Engagement will provide her with the time and mental space to investigate new ideas and meet exceptional and resourceful people whose lived experiences can inspire beautiful stories and resolutions for debate. She hopes that the residency program will provide her with the opportunity to develop her skills further and create work that resonates with a wider audience. She is particularly drawn to the Okere City residency because of its focus on community engagement and collaboration. She believes that her skills as a writer can contribute to creating meaningful dialogue and promoting civic engagement and positive social change within the community.
Mary Favour: As an advocate for community building and cultural retention, Mary understands how important the arts are in exploring self and preserving communal identity. In her work as a performing artist, and singer/songwriter, she takes great pride in exploring the cultural diversity of Kenya through music. She recently lent my voice to this cause at the 2023 Tamaduni Cultural Heritage Conference held by British Council Kenya in Mombasa. Her cultural performance explored the story of a modern girl trying to reconnect with her cultural roots. The deliberate fusion of two tribal languages in this performance was a stance against colonial efforts to erase Kenya’s cultural identity. When creating work that speaks to social issues, Mary's creative process is simple; she immerses herself creates in the community and creates a sound that reflects the community she's speaking to. In Okere, Mary is ready to go to great lengths to ensure that she creates art that is educative and impactful. She hopes to use her music as a universal language for civic engagement. She is looking forward to discovering a new sound and being part of a team that helps to amplify the agency of Okere’s residences through art.
Raniah Mulungi is a poet and spoken word artist. Her writing and poetry often lie in children's rights activism, personal development for adults, and personal discovery and appreciation for the youth. She also writes about the diversity in African cultures because she loves culture and intends to expose its beauty. She wishes to leverage the writing and performing skills that she earned from the different poetry stages I have been to (national theatre, tontoma poetry jazz sessions, Utenzi House of Productions, Kelele at Makerere, Nzani Creative Hub, etc. ). She also intends to learn more and rip from this residence if granted in form of networking and diversifying my art.
Kobusinge Jackline is a Ugandan gospel singer, songwriter, recording artist model, actress, psychologist, and just a pure lover of the arts and creative world.
ABOUT THE ARTS FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT IN OKERE PROGRAMME
The artists shall be able to participate in the activities of Okere City which spans health care and educational service operations, sports and cultural activities, leadership and political advancement projects, and business development support service, among others. Moreover, the artists shall also be linked to the local council units other and clan/cultural organs within the community. It is expected that these immersions shall give the artists 360 degrees view of what artistic projects they shall be able to create either individually or together with the community. Among others, these outputs should ultimately facilitate public discourse and/or debate on civic engagement; inspire community members to become a more active citizenry; inspire local leaders to become more accountable and valuable; and enhance the participation of ordinary citizens in democratic processes.
ACE Residency program targets young artists seeking the time and mental space to investigate new ideas and deepen existing artistic inquiries to widen civic participation and engagement. Our understanding of art is wide. We welcome writers, thinkers, and curators, and are considering anyone with a deep interest and already well-developed skills in visual arts, writing, culinary arts, composers, musicians, scholars, filmmakers, architects, and more.
Studio / Workspace
Available resources: community hall, library, football pitch, volleyball pitch, netball court, kitchen, gardens, office space, forest.
The residency is a production partnership between KQ Hub Africa and Okere City.