MAPP International Productions News: Seeking Truth in the theater, studio, community and world

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Abbey Lincoln Walter Carter
 in the theater

in the theater october 10
Having one incredible work on tour is exciting – having two at once is exhilarating! A brief sample of the reactions filling our email inbox:

About Yasuko Yokoshi's Tyler Tyler

Your piece, built from your carefully crafted but wonderfully wild choreographic choices, reminded me that art exists (as the novelist Milan Kundera said) 'to preserve the ambiguities'. – South Hadley, MA

 

I was perfectly happy just letting my brain sink into this meditative wonderland where Eastern and Western sensibilities are clearly at odds but also have their similarities…may be the most fascinating thing I've seen all year. – Houston, TX

 

 I frequently wondered what cultural cues or layers of traditions I was missing but in the end, I decided to let go and absorb it as dance in and of itself. I appreciated the willingness of the choreographer and dancers to mutually cross over the cultural divide. We need more of that in our world. – Amherst, MA

And Ralph Lemon's How Can You Stay In The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere?


I moved from elated to devastated to thoughtful to energized to exhausted to silly to overwhelmed and on and on…. As a dancer and as a human being, I am so grateful and inspired and heartbroken and enriched by what you shared with us. – San Francisco, CA
I still haven't quite exited the work, such was its exquisite power. Kudos for co-creating such a special experience in this noisy world. – Brooklyn, NY
[The dancers] "play" themselves, in front of us, and ask us to feel what we feel, as we contemplate what they feel, how their bodies move, what sounds they make. If we are uncomfortab
le, uneasy, sad, they ask us to notice those feelings rather than run away from them. This alone makes
How Can You Stay an all too rare cultural work.  – St. Paul, MN


in the studio

in the studio oct 10
Dean Moss and collaborators recently offered new glimpses of Nameless forest in showings at The Kitchen (NYC) and at Arizona State University (Tempe). Each viewing sparked a rich back-and-forth between artists and audience, helping Dean and company break through to new thinking about the piece. Next month, they'll be at Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (Tallahassee), editing and refining the production.

Residencies like these – which provide time, space and equipment – are essential to the artists' creative process on complex projects like Nameless forest. They also give the public a chance to directly experience that process. A shout out to our partners in these residencies, which reflect the producer-artist-presenter collaboration at its most fruitful.

Embarking on her new project, MIRIAM, Nora Chipaumire is driven by concerns that are artistic, personal, sociological and historical – what particular challenges must an African woman negotiate to have a full creative life? She's pursuing this question as she researches the life and work of South African artist and activist Miriam Makeba, and mines her own history:

Being a dance artist is not the narrative I could have dreamt for myself as a young girl in Harare (Zimbabwe).
Dance has allowed me to accept the "chip on my shoulder" (as the poor African girl). The choice between Family and Dance continues to give me deep opportunities for self-discovery and disclosure, and a method through which to proclaim my freedom: that is, like Miriam Makeba, the capacity to envision, and to start, something new.

in the community

WeDaPeoples
Hundreds of people came out for the "WeDaPeoples" Cabaret at Harlem Stage (in NYC) in September, a lively evening of music, dance, poetry, and video supported by MAPP's America Project. "WeDaPeoples" was first created by Sekou Sundiata as a chance to mix art and activism – to "dance to the revolution." Poet Carl Hancock Rux curated an evening of electrifying performances – with Toshi Reagon, Queen Esther, Helga Davis, and Greg Tate to name just a few – to inspire hope in the face of challenging times, and ignite a passion for action and change.

Cathy recently spoke on a panel at the Theater Without Borders conference in NYC. Her impressions:

I was humbled by the invitation to participate in "Acting Together on the World Stage: A Conference on Theatre and Peace Building in Conflict Zones." The event was a monumental achievement, bringing together more than 300 people, with artists and arts practitioners from over 30 countries, many who take life and death risks for their art as they navigate governments, bureaucracies, and armies in their efforts to make positive world change. I was struck by the no-holds barred honesty that characterized the conversations and the presentations, as together we imagined pathways to peace through art practice.

And, don't miss David Soll's new film, Puppet, which follows MAPP artist Dan Hurlin in the creation of his award-winning show, Disfarmer. Catch the world premiere at DOC NYC in early November.

in the world

in the world 10

 Cathy and Ann head to Nairobi, Kenya, for the Building Equitable Partnerships meeting organized by The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium and hosted by the GoDown Arts Centre. Consortium members and GoDown leaders will be joined by artists – Panaibra Gabriel and Maria Helena Pinto from Mozambique; Faustin Linyekula from Democratic Republic of Congo (that's part of the arts complex he's building in the picture above!); Boyzie Cekwana from South Africa; and Opiyo Okach from Nairobi – to conceive a possible program of long-term, multi-directional cultural exchange.

Emily goes to Bamako, Mali at the end of October, to attend the biennial Danse l'Afrique Danse Festival. Look for her report in our next newsletter.

 

in suite 502

MAPP's first benefit was a great success! Organized by our super Board member David Gibson and hosted by David's partner at TWO TWELVE, Ann Harakawa, the evening was a warm celebration of MAPP's long, productive relationship with Ralph Lemon and Cross Performance. Many thanks to our Board and Benefit Committee members, and to all the friends – old and new – who joined us.

New season, new intern! MAPP welcomes Maegan Keller, who immediately got her feet wet working at the benefit. Denisa Musilova, a wonderful intern who has been with us since the spring, is sadly (for us) moving on, and we wish her well.

Become a Cultural Investor

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Photo credits: Ralph Lemon; Julie Alexander and Kayvon Pourazar in Tyler Tyler by Alexandra Corrazza; Gesel Mason and David Thomson by Antoine Tempé; Nameless forest by Tim Trumble; WeDaPeoples Cabaret by Vaughn Browne; Les Studios Kabako, Democratic Republic of Congo by Faustin Linyekula.

 
 
 

2nd All Africa Dance Festival on Peace – Nairobi, Kenya 2010

The 2nd All Africa Dance Festival on Peace in Nairobi, Kenya

THE 2ND ALL AFRICA DANCE AND MUSIC FESTIVAL ON PEACE IN NAIROBI, KENYA:


GREAT NEWS! FREE PARTICIPATION BY DANCE GROUPS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD

“Arts approaches” provide an accessible language, compelling processes
that affirm everyone’s creativity and, above all, an inclusive space
that enables healing, genuine dialogue and transformation to happen
particularly where the violent conflicts and pains are experienced by
masses of people".

Many African countries have been affected by conflicts leading to the
deaths of over seven million people in the last twenty years. Armed
Conflicts in Sudan, Rwanda , Burundi, Congo, Sierra Leone, Uganda,
Liberia, Guinnea Bissau, Angola and Somalia have been the most
publicized at the international level but inter-ethnic conflicts are the
order of the day in most of the African countries including Kenya.

The result of these conflicts is bloodshed with millions of Africans been
resettled from their homes. There are still unresolved conflicts in
Somalia, Sudan , Uganda , Burundi , Congo , Chad and other countries .

The artists of these countries have a lesson to share in the use of the
arts to promote peace and healing while striving to prevent armed
conflicts in the future. Kenya is just overcoming a political conflict
that would have forced the country into anarchy seriously threatening
social order and security of the Eastern Africa region.

It is in view of this that, “The 2nd All Africa Dance Conference and
Festival” has been organized; scheduled to take place from 3rd to 5th
December 2010 at the Kenyatta International Conference Center ,down town
Nairobi in Kenya.

The conference/ festival will provide a rich, inclusive and challenging
forum for reflective practitioners to celebrate their creative richness;
critically and deeply engage; dream and act jointly in producing
alternative cultural and dance products and in shaping new narratives of
just peace. The festival will bring together over 2000
artistes, peace builders – including educators, dance artists, musicians,
development workers, community animators and cultural activists – from
Africa and other parts of the world who continue to apply various shades
of dance arts approaches in their social change work.

The festival in a symphony of contemporary dance will also celebrates the
creative work of the African continent. The All Africa Dance Festival is
an ‘all Africa dance event' where we shall dance, stamp and leap to the
rhythms of the cultural and contemporary dance in the heart of Africa!.

The event to be held from 3rd-5th December 2010 has confirmed dance groups
from Jamaica, Haiti, Sweden, Norway, Italy. Brazil, Nigeria, Mali and
Mozambique Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ghana, Cuba, Sierra Leone, Netherlands,
Sudan,South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Britain, United States,
Canada, India among other countries.

The Festival is proud to welcome these phenomenal dance artists and
choreographers to Kenya and Africa. All the participating groups will
provide rich insight into contemporary dance styles and practices from
Africa and other parts of the world. Kenya will be represented by leading
dance groups such as Sarakasi, Safari Cats, Nameless, Wahu, Jua Cali,
Kanda King, Shangilia and Kenge Kenge, African Tumbas and Bomas of Kenya
Dancers and over 50 other groups.

Participation by dance groups from all over the world is absolutely
FREE!. Participating groups will however be required to meet the cost of
their flights, accommodation and meals. Ground transport and learning
materials will be provided by the festival. The festival regrets
that due to funding constraints, there will be no scholarships for dance
groups or choreographers and all the delegates are requested to seek
funding from other sources. Please visit www.artmovesafrica.org for
potential support. The All Africa Dance Festival secretariat is willing
to provide support letters for those seeking funding for flights and
accommodation in Nairobi.

The conference and festival will also share skills in the use of dance to
promote peace and human understanding. Various topics of interest will be
addressed in these sessions include : Dance Choreography, Movements and
patterns creation, Dance Drama/ Dance Theatre, Dance Journalism, Dance
Production and presentation, The role of Community Dance, The language of
dance, Dance festival productions, Mime Dance and Story Development in
dance. Others are: The role of Indigenous dances in peace education,
Community Based Peace Education, Forgiveness & Healing using Dance,
Advocacy and Dialogue using Dance and Democratizing Africa using Dance are
just but some of the plenary topics that will be discussed during
conference and the workshops. The festival will host international and
local choreographers and peace builders that will make your experience
memorable and rewarding.

The Festival also promises a whole host of other treats, such as the “
peace drum project “ where dancers, video artists,, fashion designers
and choreographers will come together to create dance projects where the
winners will be awarded with USD 5000 for developing the best message
on peace using in three days .This competition artists will prove to be
one of the highlights of this years festival and there are plans to have
an Afric an continental dance competition next year.

This festival which amongst many other encounters of dancing feet, is
about peace in Africa and us all celebrating the hip sway and feet tap
of our own vibrant people and city and its dancing cultural life despite
the recent threats to Peace and human understanding– see you there!

Karibu Kenya, Hakuna Matata! Drums NOT Guns!

For more information please

Please visit www.africadancefestival.com;

Warmest Regards


Karegwa Muchiri

Festival Director

All Africa Dance Conference and Festival on Peace

Madonna House. 3rd Flr, Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254-20-4452674/ 4450937

info@africadancefestival.com
or
africadancefestival@gmail.com

www.africadancefestival.com

2010 Sigana International Storytelling Festival – Kenya

I N V I T A T I O N
Join us during the
2010 Sigana International Storytelling Festival
3 days of sheer magical delight of
STORYTELLING PERFORMANCE
Featuring cross-continental renowned professional Storytellers 
ALL celebrating

The Wonders of Living Tales

Diane Ferlatte (USA)
Mats Rehnman (Sweden)
Love Ersare (Sweden)
Jeeva Raghunath (India)
Andrew Ssebaggala (Uganda)
Dr. Mshai Mwangola – Githongo (Kenya)
Alumbe Namai (Kenya)
Grace Wangare (Kenya)
Githanda Githae (Kenya)
EuniceWambui (Kenya / Belgium)

VENUE: ALLIANCE FRANCAISE, off Loita Street Nairobi City – Kenya
Friday June 11th at 6.30pm
Saturday June 12th at 3 & 6pm
Sunday June 13th at 3 & 9pm

ADVANCE BOOKINGS: Adults Kshs.300 Children Ksh.150
(at Alliance Francaise Reception & Phone: 0721764622/0724884327)

CHARGES AT THE DOOR: Adults Ksh.400 and Children Ksh.200

Welcoming you in advance!
Aghan Odero Agan
Festival Convener Director

MO FAYA at The GoDown Centre, Nairobi

 

 

 

 

10th – 17th November 2009                                        VOLUME 7,NUMBER 50                                                     

 

 

 

IN THIS ISSUE

 

Mo Faya: “A Ghetto Story” – The GoDown

 

 Agenda Uganda   Medeva

 

Internship    Nairobits Trust

 

Final Touches –  Kuruka Maisha Trust

 

Dance Workshop –  Dance Into Space 

 

The Amnesia Project   Nairobi Arts Trust

 

“Without You” –  Ketebul Music

 

Ngoma  Xpressions   Phoenix Players

 

 

PIC OF THE WEEK: UETA Band on stage on their way to winning this years Battle of the Bands “Showdown at the GoDown 2” this past Saturday

 

 

QUOTABLE QUOTES

 

“Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern. “

Alfred North WhiteheadMathematician & philosopher (1861 – 1947)

 

ART -E- FACTS

Left-handed painter, Michelangelo, painted his famous David and Goliath with David holding his sling in his left hand.

 


 

The GoDown is kindly supported by:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


                                 

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

 

The GoDown aims to develop independent artists across multiple art forms and to participate in the advancement of the cultural sector, thereby contributing to the establishment of a robust arts and culture sector with expanding receptive audience

 

 


 

OUR VISION

 

The GoDown will be a centre, internationally recognized and respected as East Africa’s key institution in nurturing talent in the arts, in a society where artists, confident in their own culture, effectively unleash their creative potential, and make their full contribution to an East African society which values arts and culture as an integral part of life.

 

 

THE GODOWN

 

Eric Wainaina’s Mo Faya: “A Ghetto Story” comes to the GoDown tonight; the highly entertaining musical drama gives us a slice of life in a ghetto inKenya and features a lively mix of reggae and African rhythms coupled with energetic and highly compelling choreography, in a blend that is bound to light up the stage. The show runs fromNovember 11th to December 20th:


Wednesdays (1 ticket for 2) – 7.30pm

Sh300 adults, Sh300 students (13-18yrs)
Thursdays and Fridays – 7.30pm

Sh600 adults, Sh400 students (13-18yrs)
Saturdays – 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Sh800 adults, Sh400 students (13-18yrs)
Sundays – 2.30pm

Sh800 adults, Sh400 studen
ts (13-18yrs)

 

* Get you ticket from Silverbird Cinemas at the Village Market, The Junction and Westgate or Selected Uchumi Supermarkets outlets.

 

The GoDown Arts Centre in collaboration with the Dance Forum Nairobi, have began a two week Dance workshop which concludes with a performance of dancers at the festival of solos and duets at the Goethe Institut on the 20th and 21st November 2009.

  

The past weekend also saw the successful and largely exciting Battle of the Bands Concert, where UETA came up tops in an event that attracted a “rock-a-molic” crowd who came out in droves to support the bands.

 

For correspondence or bookings for shows,

Please contact us on 555770 or 555227.

info@thegodownartscentre.com

 

 

MEDEVA 

 

Training for the short listed candidates for the new season of the Agenda Uganda show came to an end this week after an intensive one week training program.  Shooting of the show starts at the end of this month.

 

Meanwhile Medeva are currently planning the development of new programs for next year.

 

For any enquiries please contact us on 0722/734 696 741.

For more details about us please visit our website on www.medevatv.com

 

 

NAIROBITS TRUST

 

After several months of intensive training and an enormous amount of hard work, twenty Nairobits students are ready for the Job market.  The students specialized in design and development of websites, are currently looking for internship opportunities in ICT related companies.

 

For more details, visit Nairobits offices and support a young person with an internship opportunity in your company.

 

To know more about Nairobits, please visit our website:

www.nairobits.com orhttp://www.nairobitsblog.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

KURUKA MAISHA TRUST

 

The Kuruka Maisha Boys are putting the final touches on their act to be presented at the launch of the FIFA World Cup trophy tour. The Boys are expected to perform at the welcome party and the Launch at Safari Park on Friday, 13th November 2009.

 

The boys are also continuing with practice for their upcoming concert in December.

 

To know more about Kuruka Maisha please call 0721439665

Or Email kurukamaisha@gmail.com /info@kurukamaisha.org

 

 

DANCE INTO SPACE

 

Through Dance into Space, members of Uwezo Mixed Ability Dancers have been incorporated into a two week dance workshop at the GoDown Arts Centre making it the first workshop inKenya that has incorporated both disabled and able-bodied dancers. Meanwhile the OBG goes on with preparation for their Concert at the end of the Month.

 

For more information contact:umadproject@gmail.com

To know more about Dance Into Space please call 2088912

Or Email dancein2space@yahoo.com

 

 

NAIROBI ARTS TRUST

 

The Sindika Dokolo African Collection of Contemporary Art (SDACCA) exhibition is currently going on at the Museum. The project celebrates the cultural clash that begat multiculturalism and from it attempts to sow the seeds of a common history which the present & future generations can excel in as brothers and sisters, irrespective of race, faith, gender or heritage

For more info: CCAEA -0733 762 556.

 

 

KETEBUL MUSIC 

 

Kenyan based Sudanese musician Simon “Wesco” is recording his first album titled “Without You” with Ketebul studios. His album is a combination of Hip-hop and Ragga.

 

Meanwhile Diwani Nzaro, an artist with Ketebul studios is finally completing the album he has been working on for the past 7 months. The Album that features songs like “Haupendeki” and “Ukimwi”, is a blend of Afro fusion with subtle tones of Taarab.

 

 

 

PHOENIX PLAYERS

 

This week Take Away the Lady, a play of suspense, by Jimmy Chinn continues at thePhoenix theatres.

SYNOPSIS:

A family that was torn apart by a tragedy is once again brought together in a bid resolve a mysterious murder in the family that has remained buried for the last fifteen years. With a cast consisting of a Scornful Celia (Nice Githinji), dotty Emma (Lynda Nyangweso), cold Lavinia (Milo Ogutu), flighty Gilda (Liz Boi) or even gentle Father (Salim Gitau), Take Away the Lady is bound to keep you on the edge of you sit.

Book for your friends and family.

Tickets: Kshs 500 Adults

                 Kshs 300 Students.

 

Friday 6th November to Saturday 21st November

Saturday 21st two shows @ 3p.m and 6p.m

 

The Ngoma Xpression concert took place at thePhoenix theatre on Tuesday evening. The concert was a journey through rhythm and blues brought together by the vastly experienced Wakake in combination with Mathew Matix’s style and element in drumming.

 

For bookings, please call Lucy on 2225506

Or email phoenix@swiftkenya.com for tickets.

 


Heartstrings, Nairobi: THE 43th KENYAN TRIBE

   
 

Tue to Sun, 29th, 30th, Sept, 1st, 3rd, 4th Oct
7
 Final shows of the comedy "43th Kenya Tribe"

After a riotous run of the original comedy" 43th Kenya Tribe", Heartstrings Kenya will bring down the curtain on the show in their final week of this tumultuous and wildly acclaimed comedy. Those who 

missed it were more than those who did. Kenyans have all along been led to believe that Kenya has 42 tribes.
The comedy authorities in Kenya, Heartstrings Kenya presents 7 Final shows of the comedy
that will hilariously reveal that Kenya has a 43rd tribe! We all belong to it. IMPUNITY. We conceived it, gave birth to it and now are seeing it grow by raising it up. We all are IMPUNITICIANS by birth.

7 Final Shows

Comedy: 43rd KENYAN TRIBE
Venue: Alliance Francaise de Nairobi
Dates: 29, 30, Sept, 1, 3, 4 Oct
Times: 6.30pm weekdays, 3 & 6.30pm weekend.
Conceptualized by Dan Ndambuki aka "Churchill"
Directed by Samwel Mwangi and Victor Ber
Charges: 500/=

 
FOR MORE INFORMATION: samwel MWANGI  at mwangi18@yahoo.com

 
 
   

Kenya Community Development and GoDown Centre – Arts & Culture Program



17
AUG 09

Call for Applications – September 2009

Grant applications are now open in the Youth Programme and the Arts & Culture Program.

In the Youth programme, the 6th call for grant applications is now open in the promotion of Youth Led development; and in the Development of Minorities and Indigenous peoples of Kenya are open.

To  view the information, the respective requirements and application deadlines,  see  the Youth Programme page, 6th call for applications and INVITATION TO APPLY FOR GRANTS 2009 – Minorities and Indigenous Peoples of Kenya


In the Arts and Culture Programme, The Changamoto Fund, which was initiated through a partnership by Kenya Community Development and the GoDown Center  through funding from The Ford Foundation, is is given in order to liberate the artist from ‘the pressure of creating safe work’ that perhaps is more ‘accessible’ to audiences. see the new criteria for application on the The Arts and Culture Page – Call for applications  – September 2009


28
JUL 09

The Kenya National Youth Bill

The Kenya National Youth Council Bill was published and in Gazette notice of April 2009. The Bill was Tabled in Parliament for the first reading in May 2009. The second reading was scheduled for Tuesday 21 July 2009 (this week) but did not happen due to lack of quorum. It was re-scheduled to
Wednesday 22 July 2009 but did not happen as well.

This is an important Bill as it establishes the National Youth Council, which will be the central body to lobby youth issues, undertake research, and register youth organizations, among other functions.

While it is in the process of being legislated, young people, on the Council’s membership, functions and representation, currently raise some key issues.

Some include :

1. The youth representatives will be appointed by the Minister for Youth Affairs (8 of them). How do we guarantee youth representation at all levels when the Minister is operating within her own discretion to appoint!

2. Why is it that there is such a heavy government official representation- including PS labor, PS treasury, PS youth affairs and the AG or his representative?

3. The PS of Youth Affairs sits in both the Council and the Advisory Board. How can he play both roles?

4. Is election of youth council representatives the best approach or should nominations, or other processes be considered? Which would be best?

Youth organizations are working closely with MPs, including Hon Rachel Shebesh and are also in consultation with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

The Kenya National Youth Council Bill is published as a Gazette Notice and is available for sale from Government Printers at Kshs 80.


20
JUL 09

THE AFRICAN GRANTMAKERS NETWORK IS LAUNCHED

Ghana, Accra–15 July 2009: “The African Grant makers Network will change the face of global philanthropy. And it will happen right here in Africa”, said Sarah Mukasa, Director of Programmes at the African Women’s Development Fund, at a meeting organized to establish a network of African grant makers.

After years of careful planning, preparations, consultations and meetings, the AGN was launched in Accra at a meeting convened by the African Women’s Development Fund, TrustAfrica and the Kenya Community Development Foundation—and attended by key African grant makers. “The establishment of an African Grant makers Network is well overdue”, was the opening line of a discussion document circulated at the meeting.

“This has been a long overdue dialogue that has now finally taken shape. I want to express my wish that this network will grow and become sustainable in order to develop a strong, collective voice for Africa and her needs in terms of development—from Africa, for Africa”, said Christine Delport, Chief Operating Officer at the Greater Rustenburg Community Foundation.

And TrustAfrica’s Executive Director, Akwasi Aidoo, emphasized that the AGN’s main function will be to “change the narrative of Africa as helpless and hapless, tilt the balance of stories, and increase the visibility and knowledge of Africa”. He went on to say, “this is a network with a solid net across our continent and lots of good work for its people”.

The AGN will also:

  • Serve as a platform for peer learning and good practice to enhance good standards and practices;
  • Ensure an amplification of local voices in development discourse and African perspectives in global platforms;
  • Reinforce the tradition of African philanthropy;
  • Advocate for long-term and sustainable mechanisms and resources, including investments and endowments for philanthropic institutions in Africa;
  • Serve as a reference point for Africans in the Diaspora and a point to affirm the identity of African philanthropic institutions;
  • Cultivate good relations with other civil society formations in Africa and increase networking for effective advocacy around the aid agenda and the legal environment, including the tax regime; and
  • Conduct pertinent research, capacity building and advocacy roles.

A Steering Committee was elected comprising;

  • Bisi Adeleye FAYEMI: Chair (African Women’s Development Fund, Ghana)
  • Janet MAWIYOO: Co-Chair (Kenya Community Development Foundation, Kenya)
  • Akwasi AIDOO: (TrustAfrica, Senegal)
  • Christine DELPORT: (Greater Rustenburg Community Foundation, South Africa)
  • Neville GABRIEL: (Southern Africa Trust, South Africa)
  • Ezra MBOGORI: (Akiba Uhaki Foundation, East Africa)
  • John Ulanga: (The Foundation for Civil Society, Tanzania)

After the launch, Neville Gabriel, Executive Director of Southern Africa Trust, stated:

“The creation of the African Grant makers Network is a historic moment in the development of African institutions that truly belong to the continent. It’s been created by grant making organizations that are rooted in Africa, out of their own felt need for such a network, and through their own commitment to create such a group. The network will therefore be a key platform to improve the way in which funding towards effective development results is channeled to African organizations”.

And Bisi Adeleye Fayemi, Executive Director of the African Women’s Development Fund, summarized the launch as follows:

“The story of Africa’s development has been told many times over with great reference to the disasters but little if any to the contributions of Africans who work to create change, to shape a new historical narrative of hope, dignity, peace and prosperity to all of the continent’s citizens. The AGN is born of these efforts. It seeks to build on the rich tradition of philanthropic giving in Africa”.

Contact:

The AGN Secretariat

Lot 87, Sacré Coeur 3

Pyrotechnie x VDN

BP 45435

Dakar-Fann

Sénégal

Tel: 221-33-869-4686

Fax: 221-33-824-1567

E-mail: info@trustafrica.org

Website: www.trustafrica.org


03
JUL 09

Welcome to KCDF

Welcome to the new (and temporary) KCDF web site. We are in the process of rebranding KCDF so that it can reflect the Trustworthy, Dynamic and Stable Community Development Partner that you have come to know since 1997.

As we go through this process, we shall be using this web site so that you shall remain connected to us until the new web site is complete. The new web site that we are working on as part of the rebranding efforts, will have new dynamic features – in line with the latest technological advances in web development.

Soon, you will be able to access interactive video and audio from the communities that we work with, you will be able to track our grant making efforts right down to the community and you will be able to see for yourself the impact that your support will have facilitated.

Soon, through the friends of KCDF web site, you will be able to share your own thoughts on community development, share your experiences and network with other friends of KCDF and the communities that we support together.

These features and many more are developing just as the new look KCDF brings itself closer to you, so that we can give and work together towards a prosperous nation.

Janet Mawiyoo, CEO


29
JUN 09

Lifting girls out of despair is her calling

It all started four years ago as a simple idea. But today, it has developed beyond her wildest dreams.

But for Linda Lockhart, work has only just began. And she is prepared to see it through, till the very end.

Global Give Back Circle director Linda Lockhart speaks during the opening of Starehe Girls Centre learning lab. With her is Dr Manu Chandaria (centre), the chairman of the school’s board of trustees, and Education permanent secretary Karega Mutahi. Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI

Global Give Back Circle director Linda Lockhart speaks during the opening of Starehe Girls Centre learning lab. With her is Dr Manu Chandaria (centre), the chairman of the school’s board of trustees, and Education permanent secretary Karega Mutahi. Photo/JENNIFER MUIRURI

Mrs Lockhart, an American citizen, wanted desperately to give back to the society that had played a big role in shaping her success as a career businesswoman. Unfortunately, the international banking consultant did not have a clue on what this could be.

For many days, she hoped and prayed that ‘this perfect idea’ would come. Unfortunately, it didn’t. But despite this, she did not give up.

Noble idea struck

But one day, a noble idea struck her. And it came from one of the most unlikely sources — former US President Bill Clinton. She smiled. Her prayers had finally been answered.

Her decision to come up with a mentorship plan for disadvantaged girls in Africa and Kenya in particular, was inspired by a speech by the former US President, who had highlighted the need to embrace a new model of global leadership.

“His speech clearly inspired me. President Clinton said individuals should never shy away from implementing any ideas. He told us that an individual was never ‘too small’ in this world to make a difference,” says the global director of Cohen Brown Management Group.

And to this end, the Global Give Back Circle initiative, a not-for-profit organisation, was born. Coincidentally, the programme, three years later, caught the eye of the Clinton Foundation in New York with Mrs Lockhart being invited to the Clinton Global Initiative in September where she obtained sponsorship for 35 of the girls in the programme.

“I founded the organisation to address what I felt was a critical gap in development that has left marginalised women in the continent paralysed against the inequalities they face,” she says.

She didn’t have enough resources to aggressively roll out her initiative. ‘‘I relied on friends most of whom offered lots of support.”

The give-back plan seeks to transition a group of selected girls from poor backgrounds, from the cycle of poverty into one of ‘participation, contribution, fulfilment and independence.’ This, she adds, will in turn empower the girls to become ‘catalysts for change in the society.’

Mrs Lockhart says the project will be accomplished through a five-phased process where each girl has her own mentor.

Already, some 35 girls in three selected schools around Nairobi are benefiting from it. The beneficiaries are in Starehe Girls Centre, St Martins for Girls situated at the sprawling Kibagare slums in Nairobi and the Blessed Generation Children’s Centre in Ruiru. Mrs Lockhart says her simple idea had grown over time, with the inclusion of more women mentors.

During her recent two-week trip to Nairobi, she met powerful women leaders who were willing to join her initiative.

This, she reveals, has created a global network that currently consists of more than 160 mentors. And the number is rising.

Her work in Kenya has further benefited from a number of sponsors that include Commercial Bank of Greece, Equity Bank, and the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF).

Disadvantaged

“My partners have committed themselves to the successful transition of these disadvantaged girls from high school to college and employment through this comprehensive mentoring and educational programme,” she says.

“All we require from the girls is commitment, passion and dedication to ensure the programme succeeds,” she adds.

Even as she spoke highly of the girls, she said they needed assistance to ensure their success.

Take Ms Wendy Nzula for instance. Losing her parents at a very young age, Wendy and her siblings were left homeless. This was after her relatives sold all her parents’ possessions and neglected them.

Charitable organisations helped her to join Starehe Girls Centre, where she currently studies. Wendy dreams of becoming a lawyer and taking a leadership role in Kenya.

“With our help, she will have the chance to pursue this dream, and for the first time, live a life filled with hope and happiness,” Mrs Lockhart says.
Under the programme, she says, the girls are assigned mentors with who they are supposed to develop a strong relationship.

The mentor is required to guide them in planning for their future while they engage in activities that increase their participation in society and access to jobs.

By DAVE OPIYO Posted Sunday, June 28 2009 at 22:30 – Daily Nation


22
JUN 09

KCDF Recognised in Global Best Practice Award

Kenya Community Development Foundation, Kenya’s first home-grown grant making organisation has been named one of the world’s “Best Practice Organisations” – an organisation that others in the sector worldwide can learn from.

Having gone through a rigorous process that involved a group of eminent panellists, who analysed the governance and legislative structures of hundreds of organisations, KCDF was selected as one of the world’s Best Practice organisations.

“Over the past 15 years, approximately 3,000 Good and Best Practices from 140 countries have been recognised. In the 7th Cycle, the DIABP received 500 submissions. These submissions were evaluated by the Technical Advisory Committee which singled out your initiative as ‘a Best Practice’.”

This was said by Mr. Obaid Salem Al Shamsi, the Assistant Director-General for Administration Affairs and General Services in the Dubai Municipality and a member of the DIABP Board of Trustees.

This award comes at a time when civil society globally and particularly in Africa is coming under scrutiny for good governance structures. While accepting the award, KCDF CEO Ms Janet Mawiyoo, said that the award was an illustration to all organisations that it pays to take governance issues seriously and that KCDF would continue to strengthen its own, in order to be a lesson to others.

“In our work, which is often thankless, to be recognised for paying attention to the management of resources and ensuring maximum possible impact for our people is a great fulfilment on our part.”

Dubai International Award for Best Practices plays a crucial role in the identification and dissemination of Best Practices from around the world.


1st International Storymoja Hay Festival – GoDown Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

THE GODOWN

 

The GoDown is all systems go for the first International Storymoja Hay Festival starting this Friday. The Kenya Burning exhibition and book will be showcased during the 3 day event running from Friday July 31st- Sunday August 2nd, 2009 at Impala Club on Ngong Road. Charges are 500/= per day for adults or 1000/= for the 3 days or 200/= for kids or 400/= for the full 3 days. The GoDown will be joining other local and international luminaries fromWole Soyinka and Hanif Kureishi to Eric Omondi, and Njoki Ndung’u. There’s something for everyone!

 


 

For correspondence or bookings for shows,

Please contact us on 555770 or 555227.

info@thegodownartscentre.com

 

The Worlds of the Indian Ocean Festival, Kenya

Worlds of the Indian Ocean, February 2009              

FREE entry to events except gate charge for Club Afrique of Kshs. 500

Tel: +254 20 2368770

email: fas.indianocean@aku.edu

 

Festival Schedule

 

Thu

19

17.00 Exhibit & Festival Opening: “Doorway to the Indian Ocean”

Reception for conference participants and invited guests. National Museums

of Kenya

19:00 Concert: Nawal (Comoros)

Indo-Arabian-Persian music meets Bantu polyphonies, the syncopated rhythms and Sufi trance of the

Indian Ocean

GoDown

19:00 Film: As Old As My Tongue

Concert by Bi Kidude

Film on the living legend Bi Kidude from Zanzibar, followed by discussion with co-producer Rita Ray

and a live performance by Bi Kidude and Unyago Ngoma

Alliance Francaise

ongoing “The Comoros—Yesterday and Today, 1897–2005” (cont. from Feb. 16)

Author Sophie Blancy’s exhibit contrasts photos by the first Governor of France with the Grande

Comoros of today

Alliance Francaise

Fri

20

9:30–18:00 “Doorway to the Indian Ocean” (cont.)

The Art of Swahili Door Carving, Images from Lamu and Sculptures from Mombasa National Museums

of Kenya

19:00 Gala Dinner

By invitation Safari Park Hotel

19:00 Film: Retracing the Benga Rhythm

Concert by D.K Mwai and Queen Babito

The story of Benga on film narrated by John Sibi-Okumu, followed by performances by D.K Mwai and

Band and Queen Babito and D.O.7 Shirati Jazz Band

Alliance Francaise

22:00–late Entertainment by DJ Yusuf

The phattest beats from all over Africa, the Caribbean, Arabia and beyond Club Afrique

ongoing “The Comoros—Yesterday and Today, 1897–2005” (cont.)

Author Sophie Blancy’s exhibit contrasts photos by the first Governor of France with the Grande

Comoros of today

Alliance Francaise

Sat

21

9:30–18:00 “Doorway to the Indian Ocean” (cont.)

The Art of Swahili Door Carving, Images from Lamu and Sculptures from Mombasa National Museums

of Kenya

10:00 Reception with Jamil Dehlavi (Pakistan)

By Invitation Nu Metro Cinema,

Westgate

10:30 Film: Infinite Justice

Jamil Dehlavi’s last feature film starring Kevin Collins and Raza Jaffrey is the story of a Jewish American

journalist who is held for ransom by Muslim fundamentalists against the release of prisoners of

Guantanamo Bay followed by discussion with film maker

19:00 Film: Poetry in Motion

Concert: Nyota za Meremeta feat. Mohamed Ilyas

A feature-length documentary film on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of “Nadi Ikhwan Safaa”,

Zanzibar’s oldest Taarab orchestra followed by a traditional taarab concert with one of the islands finest

singers—Mohamed Ilyas

Alliance Francaise

19:00 Concert: Mazaher (Egypt)

One of the last remaining all-female Zar groups from Egypt in an unforgettable performance GoDown

ongoing “The Comoros—Yesterday and Today, 1897–2005” (cont.)

Author Sophie Blancy’s exhibit contrasts photos by the first Governor of France with the Grande

Comoros of today

Alliance Francaise

Sun

22

9:30–18:00 “Doorway to the Indian Ocean” (cont.)

The Art of Swahili Door Carving, Images from Lamu and Sculptures from Mombasa National Museums

of Kenya

16:00 Story Telling

4 Storytellers, 3 Musicians and 1 Creative Director create an event of words and music Goethe Institute

19:00 Experiments in Music and Images: Nizar Lalani (Pakistan) and Njane Mugambi (Kenya)

Sisygambis (France)

An evening of musical neighbours—exploring connection between Pakistan and Kenya in Music (Nizar

Lalani and Njane Mugambi and musicians) and between Egypt, Comoros and Zanzibar in images

(Sisygambis)

22:00–late Entertainment by DJ Yusuf

The phattest beats from all over Africa, the Caribbean, Arabia and beyond Club Afrique

ongoing “The Comoros—Yesterday and Today, 1897–2005” (cont.)

Author Sophie Blancy’s exhibit contrasts photos by the first Governor of France with the Grande

Comoros of today

Alliance Francaise

Mon

23

9:30–18:00 “Doorway to the Indian Ocean” (cont. to Feb. 26)

The Art of Swahili Door Carving, Images from Lamu and Sculptures from Mombasa National Museums

of Kenya

ongoing “The Comoros—Yesterday and Today, 1897–2005” (cont. to Feb. 28)

Author Sophie Blancy’s exhibit contrasts photos by the first Governor of France with the Grande

Comoros of today

Alliance Francaise

Kenya International Puppetry Festival 2009

GENERAL INFORMATION

The Kenya International Puppetry Festival

KIPf 2009

INVITATION:

The Kenya International Puppetry festival (KIPf 2009) Organization Committee invites

you to submit a proposal to participate and present at the Fourth Edition of the Kenya

International Puppetry Festival, (KIPf 2009) to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 10th -17th

October 2009.

THE FESTIVAL

KIP festival 2009 comes a time when the world is at war with itself. Kenya has just come

out of it and its effects are massive. The 2007 post election violence resulted in looting,

injury and loss of life, burning and destruction of private and public property worth

millions of shillings. The Middle East, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Somali, Sudan among others

are right at the centre of it. The most affected by these wars are African countries south of

Sahara.

KIP Festival 2009 will take place using the fundamental belief that Cultural Diversity

through Art creates peace, unity, harmony and builds consensus. Often people are

identified as artists because they see the world differently, because their perspectives are

unique, their means of self-expression are also unique. Their art lies partly in their ability

to make us question our assumptions and beliefs, to encourage us to consider different

visions of the ordinary. For surely there is no higher purpose or greater need in our

society today than the development and nurturing of the skills and attitudes of peace

making

The festival recognizes that puppetry is one of the world most powerful tool in peace

and consensus building. KIP Festival organizers believe that if only a fraction of the

money spent worldwide on conflict could be spent on peace programmes and

development of puppet theatre programmes, a future of peace and hope in the postconflict

countries around the world will be achieved and guaranteed. Peace occurs when

we recognize all individuals as citizens deserving of inclusion, respect, dignity, choice

and justice, and when all are given opportunities for contribution.

It is from this background that KIP festival 2009, Community Health Awareness

Puppeteers and UNIMA Kenya in solidarity with Union of puppeteers around the world,

UNIMA Internationale is dedicating Kenya International Puppetry Festival 2009 to

creating peace in the world.

The theme of KIP Festival 2009 is “Cultural Diversity for Peace and Unity Through

The Art of Puppetry”.

It is the fundamental belief of KIPf 2009 that Cultural Diversity through Art creates

peace, unity, harmony and builds consensus. KIPf 2009 recognizes that puppetry is a

powerful performing art form that can also promote peace and build consensus

This is the only Puppetry festival in Africa dedicating its calendar year activity for peace

and reconciliation in Africa.

THE ORIGIN

The Kenya International Puppet Festival was formerly known as Edupuppets

International Puppetry Festival. It was initiated by the Family Programmes Promotion

Services (FPPS) in 2002 through its puppetry program, the Community Health and

Awareness Puppeteers (CHAPS) who had established and implemented a successful

nation-wide programme using puppetry for development purposes and for social change.

Since then, three international puppetry festivals (2002, 2004 and 2006) have been

organized.

Edupuppets 2002 was the first international puppet festival in the East and Central

African region. With the theme Building Bridges through Puppetry for Community

Education and Development, it assembled 30 visiting puppeteers from all over the world

and 100 Kenyan puppeteers.

It was followed by Edupuppets 2004 which celebrated the power of puppetry as a

performing art form that could promote cultural integration and cooperation under the

broad banner Puppetry: Art, Aesthetics, Education and Cultural Integration. 20

puppeteers came from Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore, France,

the USA, and Israel to perform and conduct workshops.

After the second festival, it became clear that KIPf had entered the cultural calendar the

world over as a biannual event.

The 3rd festival, now re-named Kenya International Puppet Festival (KIPf 2006) was

jointly organized by CHAPS and the then newly formed Union International de la

Marionette (UNIMA) Kenya Chapter. Its goal was to present a puppetry that was multidisciplinary,

inter-cultural, cross-border and experimental under festival theme Puppetry:

art, and cultural integration.

In 2008, the festival was postponed due to the events of the widely disputed December

2007 post election violence.

The first three Festival editions i.e. in 2002, 2004 and 2006 were an outstanding success.

They brought an outpouring of energy and creativity to Nairobi. Visiting puppeteers from

the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, USA, South Africa, Finland, Indonesia, Israel,

Uganda, Malawi and Wales, Singapore, Italy, Austria, Japan and France joined Kenyan

puppeteers in displaying there skills on puppet theatre aesthetics, performances, stylistics

and art education through diverse puppet theatre performances, skills exchange

workshops in major cultural centres, streets, parks and institutions within the central

business district of Nairobi.

TYPES OF PRESENTATION

Proposal for presentation will cover a wide range of theatre genres. The festival

coordinating committee will be keen to receive proposal for:

• Puppets, mask, marionette, object and visual theatre performances (open to any

kind performance – not restricted to education shows)

• Workshops on script writing for puppets, puppet construction and manipulation

• Exhibition of mask, puppets, publication or reading materials on puppetry

• Plenary discussion and exchanges on the use of puppetry in community education

It is recommended that proposals for performances include a digitalized recording and

photos for performance. The proposals should be received by 30th May 2009. The

Formatting Committee may use the information contained in it for festival publicity.

DIRECTORS FORUM

A unique aspect of the KIP festival 2009 will a two day plenary presentation for at least

30 puppet theatre directors and instructors from around the world. Presentation in this

forum will include new puppetry work and sharing of ideas. The forum will also develop

strategies on the sustainability of Africa UNIMA Chapters and Africa Commission

PARTICIPATION

KIP festival 2009 targets participants from all over the world. We encourage Africa

troupes’ participation as it will be an opportunity for African Commission to meet and

forge a way forward. Participants are advised to seek sponsorship to meet their travel,

accommodation and personal expenses.

THE HOST CITY

Nairobi, the host city, is the capital of Kenya. The name “Nairobi” means the place of

cool water” the city which is over hundred years old is a modern centre of com
merce,

finance, industry and diplomacy. It is a favorite tourist destination. A superb network of

world class well managed game parks, biosphere reserves, archaeological sites and pearly

white sandy beaches are all easily accessible from the city. Some of these attractions are

less than 50 Km from the city centre! Kenya offers some of the finest natural attractions

in the world. Her prolific and well conserved wildlife is unparallel.

A well designed grid of infrastructure links all these scenic attractions with Mombassa,

the gateway to Kenya Coast and the country second largest city, and Kyushu, the lakeside

town by the shores of the world famous Lake Victoria. Jomo Kenyatta International

Airport, a premier airport in the region is only 15 minutes drive from the city centre.

Festival venues are within walking distance in central Nairobi.

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation is easily available in Nairobi during the festival period. Although the

Organizing Committee will ideally prefer all participants to stay in the same place, a goal

to which we will strive, there are alternatives. These include home stays, hostel and hotel

at daily rates ranging from US$20 to US$100 for bed an breakfast. Participants are

strongly advised to make reservation early through the festival secretariat.

WEL COME TO KENYA

CONTACTS

Phylemon Odhiambo Okoth

The Festival Coordinator/ President – UNIMA Kenya

KIPf 2009 – C/o UNIMA Kenya /FPPS {K} CHAPS

PO Box 46042 – 00100, Nairobi, Kenya

TEL, 254-02-715002/710705

FAX, 254-02-715115

Mobile : 254 – (0) 733232192

E-mail: phylmono@yahoo.com

ekrystall@africaonline.co.ke

Kwani Lit Fest – Nairobi & Lamu, Kenya – August 1-15, 2008

Description of Events

Kwani Litfest

Week long Craft workshops

FOR MORE INFORMATION: shalinig@mac.com

KWANI LIT FEST: REVISIONING KENYA

NAIROBI and LAMU, KENYA

AUGUST 1-15, 2008

Manuscript required (about 15 pages). An intensive critique, discussion and

exchange of opinion on your work in a dynamic group setting. Taken by

experience authors, each workshop will focus on essential craft attributes.

Fiction – An exploration of the elements of writing, demands of literary

genres, differences between the short story and the novel. Focus will be on

character development, plot, conflict, dialogue and story telling.

Non Fiction

Designed for essayists, writers of memoir, this will explore the art of telling

true stories. Developing scenes, holidng interest, voice, narrative arcs will all

be explored.

Crime Writing

Creating racy plots, compelling storylines, believable plots. This workshop

will focus on the lucrative and exciting genre of crime writing. It will look at

noir,

Poetry

Discussion of poetry, performances, structure, elemental issues. Please bring

a max of 6 poems

Journalism

A guide to news and feature writing, journalistic techniques, how to produce

a story and sell it to a newspaper or magazine. Citizen journalism and

blogging will also be touched on.

Day courses

Voicing your Work

Readings are a vital part of an author’s creative life these days. The abilty to

bring the works on the page to life is critical. A day’s guide to how best to

use your voice, to engage your audience and to make the best of your work.

Yoga and Writing

Freewriting is the best way to disengage that inner writing critic that can

snuff out or stifle creative writing. Emotions can also be released and guided

in this process by yoga. Different asanas engender different responses which

are visible in the writing. Especially when freewriting. The idea is to explore

the links between mind, body and emotion using both yoga and

freewriting. More to be revealed in the process…

Description of Events

Blogging 101

How to set up your blog, chose your subjects, deal with comments, make

thigns interesting and get your blog to stand out among the millions added

daily to the internet. A successful blogger tells all.

Children’s Writing

Discuss the role of children’s literature in shaping the next generation. What

are the new ‘morals of the story’ in the 21st century? Can children’s books

help to build bridges between cultures/tribes in this globalised world? Try

your hand at creating one

Poetic Beginnings

A look at writing poetry for yourself, public performance and for school

children. Some tips on selling and a performance of his own work from Nii

Parkes. Bring a poem if you want.

Travel Writing

Ever fancied writing for Conde Nast? Or Lonely Planet. A look at the

requirements and methods to write interesting travel stories complete with a

trip to one of Kenya’s tourist sites to practise for yourself

Events

Revisioning Kenya

A one day symposium featuring the best and most innovative speakers in

their fields. Hear inventors, economists, farmers, social entrepreneurs, ICT

experts, intellectuals, businessmen, creatives and more outline their vision

for the way forward in Kenya. Be inspired! Find a template, discuss, take part

in the vision to move Kenya to a better place. Prominent guest speakers tbc

Literary Lunches – A delightful lunch with an author, complete with

readings, and interview. Ask questions, get your book signed, sip the wine

and enjoy!

Literary Dinner – Interviews, mingling with authors, this sell out event is

back. Meet writers, see performance poets, purchase books, all in a delightful

garden setting.

Book Launches – An opportunity to hear the latest talent. Come here the

author read and discuss their work, and get yourself a signed copies of their

book

Panel: Making Sense of Violence

Description of Events

How does one reconcile the mundane acts of everyday life with acts of daily

violence and horror? Writers who struggle to make sense of humanity in

times of overwhelming calamity discuss how to capture the enormity of these

events in fiction.

Panel: The Fallacy of Post-Colonial Fiction

“There’s nothing post about colonialism. Merely a shift in the modus

operandi,” says Adib Khan in A Spiral Road. Is post-colonial fiction a

construct of western publishers and the literary community? Does it deny

writers their history and nationality in order to position their work pure
ly in

relation to their colonised past? Writers discuss time, placement and history.

Manuscript Assessment

Your opportunity for a one-on-one 45-min intensive ‘super’ session about

your completed manuscript with a published writer. Unsure what to do with

your completed manuscript and how to approach publishers? This is a

fantastic opportunity to get advice from someone with excellent inside

knowledge of the publishing industry. Bring the first chapter of your

manuscript and any other material you think is relevant to the interview. And

come with questions! By appointment only.

Travel

Literary Safari

See some of Kenya’s best know sites in the Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru and

Tsavo in our literary safari. Travel with a Kenyan writer, find inspiration and

guidance from our expert help and the extraordinarily beautiful surroundings.

Retreat

The final week of KLF will allow writers and students to interact and process

information from the intensive workshops and fora and to focus on their own

writing. We will move to the island of Lamu, explore the archipelago, have

readings, launches, and many events centred around inspiration and writing.