There was an artist displaying some of his artworks, and the best part of it was being given brushes and an opportunity to paint. It was fun! The bad news is –I CANNOT paint to save my life. My human looked more like an alien – sad!
I think this was the most visited tent in the grounds. I had heard of this exhibition-when it was at the Joseph Murumbi Art gallery but had been unable to attend.
The photos are gruesome. They’re stark, they hide nothing. A charred body here, a headless body there, people crying, and worst of all, a mob of men sinking a panga into another man’s head-how the photographer managed to capture that, I don’t know. What strikes me is that the people captured on film are real. they’re not monsters, they’re human beings, doing indescribably inhuman acts. I know I’ll never forget what I saw.
What’s in a name? Discussion group led by Lorna.
Everyone had an opinion on names. From the meaning of a name, to whether your name decides your destiny, to why women have to discard their names and take up those of their husbands. The discussion was intense and very lively. The moderators barely got a word in edgewise!
“When I asked my Dad why he’d called me Lorna, he just shrugged and said, ‘Because I liked the biscuits.’ ” (In the UK there was a book written on a mythical woman – Lorna Doone-which was very popular and there were also biscuits which went by that name.)
-From Lorna, the moderator.
“So my parents named me Bedford. I started calling myself Benford……then shortened the name to Ben. I even tried to get it changed at the AG’s office but that didn’t work out.”
-From a participant.
“You are not really Mwenda. You are a physical representation of Mwenda.”
-One participant’s theory on names.
Sexuality- with Valentine Njoroge
This was one of the last activities. We opened with a very interesting topic “How does your sexuality change as you grow older?” Very interesting insights from the audience, which included Vikram Seth, Oyunga Pala, Agatha Verdadero of Master Publishing, among others. Everyone had something to say, from the single to the married to the divorced. We moved on to other topics, outrageously funny comments being made, heated debate and then all too sadly, it was already time to leave.
“I have lived with a number of college girls over the years and at least once, for each girl, I have had to get into my car in the middle of the night and pick her up from some guy’s house because she was in a situation where she no longer felt safe.”
-From a participant
(The discussion was on why women get themselves into potentially dangerous situations-esp. college girls – go for a date with a guy and because he has a car, you assume that he will drop you home at the end of the day and don’t even carry enough money for your fare back home. So when he decides NOT to take you home but to his place, then you are in trouble.)
“After getting out of a long term relationship – a marriage in fact – I’ve had to re-discover everything about myself and it’s sometimes painful. I’ve even had to re-discover my taste in curtains…Because I’d changed so much to please this person I was with.”
(From a lady in the audience. The discussion was on long-term relationships, and how to keep the sexuality alive in them. )
How my outlook changed.
I was impressed by some of the participants in the discussions I attended. They were so open, willing to take in all different types of views and challenge them. These are not people who just quietly accept things but challenge them. maybe because of the nature of my work – sitting alone in an office all day from Monday to Friday, I don’t interact as much as I should, so listening to people debating and having so much fun arguing challenged me to be a more critical thinker.
Go here for another comment on the SHFK by Jan Blake on the UNEP site.