Kenya: Graffiti Artists Re-Imagine Nairobi City Public Spaces Through Art

21 December 2019

Graffiti artists on Saturday joined hands to beautify the streets of Nairobi through art.

More than 40 artists re-imagined the Nairobi city's spaces and with every brushstroke the results were eye-popping.

They began their artwork on Kenyatta Avenue where they transformed the Nairobi County Government's green and yellow garbage bins, flower pots, benches, and pedestrian crossings.

The initiative dubbed #MyMarkMyCity aims to make Nairobi residents and visitors enjoy the city.

"The idea is to beautify the streets of the city, with graffiti artists and volunteer support crews using carefully conceptualized culturally relevant artwork to give dustbins, flower pots, benches, and pedestrian crossings a contextual identity realized though art and colour," said Kenyan poet Mufasa (Ken Kibet), one of the organizers.

Mufasa said it is a step to reclaiming Nairobi city: "To have a better city for people to enjoy their public spaces; People to enjoy walking in the city. To make people care about the city when it comes to making it clean," he adds.

Ian, a creative director and event manager, said the artists want to put the city at a place where people look at it differently.

"Some of the artwork we are doing is not for ourselves. It is for the future we envision for ourselves.

"The whole point of this exercise is to get the inhabitants of this city to take up ownership of their own city. So they can be able to beautify it, make sure we come up with sustainable waste management solutions and beautiful roads."

The Museum for the United Nations - UN Live is collaborating across the United Nations, with its key agencies, and with an extraordinary growing network of local change makers and innovators to imagine and create solutions to the climate crisis that could transform city life worldwide.

According to the UN-Habitat, Sustainable Development Goals number 11 calls for a clear vision of cities and human settlements of the future expected to be inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

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