Resilient Cities
S3 E2: Nairobi - Art Disrupting Corruption

Nairobi: Art Disrupting Corruption

Kenya is well known internationally for its sandy beaches and wide‐open savannahs that attract foreign tourists every year. But behind the picture perfect postcard hides a bleak reality.

In 2007 politically motivated ethnic violence spread across the country following a contested election, leaving over one thousand people dead. These ethnic tensions still persist today. The country’s current government, led by the son of Kenya’s first president, is said to be one of the most corrupt in its history, with the country reportedly losing a third of its state budget to corruption every year.

In Nairobi, a city characterized by extremes of wealth and poverty, some artists are fed up of the status quo and are using their art to break through the stagnation that characterizes a political class, which has hardly changed since 1963. This episode follows Anjali Nayar, a Canadian filmmaker who has made Kenya her home; Godfrey Mwampembwa, a political satirist whose caricatures, published in the daily newspaper, poke fun at the excesses of the government; Muthoni Ndonga, a musician whose recently released single is a sharp indictment of corruption in the country; and Sylvester Barasa, a contemporary dancer with polio, determined to carve out a place for himself despite the absence of infrastructure and social support.

 

Available until
2019-03-02T00:00:00-08:00

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Havana: Art from a Disconnected Island

Cuba is a multi-layered, complex, culturally-rich island, known primarily for the 1953 revolution of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. The revolution, America’s subsequent trade embargo and the economic struggles that the island faced has had a notable impact on the kind of art that was created. Much of it was inspired by a sense of cohesion and unity, with Cuban artists promoting the belief that socialism would work. More recently, and in the context of renewed normalization of relations between the U.S.

  • 2019-09-20T03:00:00-07:00
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Manila: Creating In Spite of Fear

Manila, a giant Asian metropolis with traffic-laden roads, towering skyscrapers and sprawling informal settlements, has become a dangerous place. Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines in June 2016, vowing to crack down on the drug trade. Since then, extrajudicial killings have led to the deaths of over 3500 people by vigilantes; his approach is reminiscent of the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled from 1965 to 1986.

Mexico City: Artists Breaking Apathy

Mexico City, a massive, sprawling metropolis and home to over 21 million inhabitants, is the capital of a country that has become notorious for drug-­‐related violence. The ‘drug war’ as it is widely known, officially launched in 2006, had initially the support of communities who were tired of gun battles, execution-­style murders and police corruption.

Beirut: Art As A New Narrative

Beirut is a battle-­scarred city that has survived military invasions and civil war. Currently it struggles with a Muslim and Christian divide, the influx of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and has Isis looming over their country’s northern border. Still, Beirut is considered the cultural hub of the Middle East. Reverberating with the sounds of musicians, performers and activists as well as hosting one of the best nightlife scenes in the world, Beirut is an enigma. 

  • 2019-10-02T00:00:00-07:00
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Nairobi: Art Disrupting Corruption

Kenya is well known internationally for its sandy beaches and wide‐open savannahs that attract foreign tourists every year. But behind the picture perfect postcard hides a bleak reality.

Kiev: Art As Protest

In a city on the divide between Russia and Europe, the art of protest stands against war and corruption. Kiev has a government that ignores its citizens and responds to demonstrators with violent measures. Now, artists and activists are spearheading the fight to claim Ukrainian cultural identity. 

  • 2019-10-09T00:00:00-07:00
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Jakarta: Art Defying Moral Conservatism

Indonesia, where the national motto is “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” or “Unity in Diversity,” is home to both the world’s largest Muslim majority as well as six additional religions. The country has had a difficult history under the 32-­year dictatorship of General Suharto whose repressive and corrupt militarized rule led to the deaths of hundred thousand.

Athens: Art As Solace

Amid the chaos and confusion from Greece's financial meltdown, artists from all corners of Athens are gathering to protect Athenian culture through the power of their art. In this episode, four artists show how they are fighting to counteract the bleak outlook of their urban landscape: iNO, the city's only incognito graffiti artist; photographer Panagiotis Maidis; electro-pop group Kid Flicks formed by Nickos Dervisis; and film and television producer Theo Simantirakis. 

  • 2019-10-16T00:00:00-07:00
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