“Art is about relationships and networks”
In this episode Syowia Kyambi gives a frank account of what it means to be an artist. Of how you need to really love what you do, to take all the opportunities that you can and to ask yourself which ones you might be missing. And about using your practice as a tool and approach to research histories, memories and identities from an embedded personal perspective. Syowia reflects on the past, on the joy and pleasure of working with artists that she respects and admires, and of the fundamental necessity of facing challenges in the right way. And she looks towards the future, setting out the aims and ideals of the space and collective which she has co-founded; Untethered Magic.
Syowia Kyambi is a visual artist and curator. Her practice, often mischievous and disruptive, collapses history into the contemporary and interrogating the painful legacy of colonial projects that still reverberate in the present. Her work is complex, often messy and deeply emotionally charged. Her performances, at times uncomfortable, ask viewers and participants to bear witness to an embodiment of collective experiences. Much of her work dissects and brings into question issues of race, perception, gender and memory, examining how our contemporary human experience is influenced by constructed history, past and present violence, colonialism, family and sexuality. Syowia’s courage, determination and creativity in exploring these themes is extraordinary and has made her a unique emerging voice in the continent’s art world.
Interview date: 19.02.21
Interviewer: James Muli
Production: George Opalo
Editing: Magdalene Ochieng
Host: Nduta Wangari
Post-production: Jacob Höfle