Nairobi — Ukrainian Institute and agency for cultural development, Port will present "Grains of Culture" --The Wall project in Nairobi on Friday.
The Wall in Nairobi is the final of 5 murals-symbols opened in Vienna, Berlin, Marseille, and Brussels.
During the event, Kenya's artists Moha and Eliamin Ink and their Ukrainian counterparts Alina Konyk, Nikita Kravtsov, and Andrii Kovtun will create together the mural "Grains of Culture" to finalize the the "Wall Project"
The Wall symbolizes resistance, stability, and armor that fences off the civilized world from the war.
At the same time, the title refers to the Pink Floyd cult album, a rock opera about a hero fenced off from the whole world by a wall behind which he copes with his inner demons.
"Ukraine is dealing with an external demon. The Wall project allows us to discuss the world's attitude towards Ukraine as "us and them." We wish to rethink this idea and look at the mental and historical wall that separates us. And which must be eliminated so that we feel like a single community," Katya Taylor, Port. CEO and founder, and curator of The Wall says.
The symbolic event is expected to open new horizons in Ukrainian-Kenyan relationships.
The project aims to show that Ukraine has much in common with Kenya, including the same values, goals, and rights.
To emphasize their similarity while maintaining the individuality of every side, Port. attracted six Ukrainian and Kenyan artists who've created projects to show that the idea of interaction and synergy exists not only in theory but is also embodied in the project.
"The murals are our response to Russian brutal aggression on the cultural front in the civilizational war which Putin has launched. The policy of destruction and elimination of Ukrainian identity is one of Russia's key elements in the war against Ukraine. In our temporarily occupied territories, Russian invaders closed Ukrainian schools and imposed their language and history," says Emine Dzhaparova, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
According to Dzhaparova, since February 24, Russian forces have damaged 514 cultural sites - at least 174 religious sites, 38 museums, 38 historic buildings, 38 buildings dedicated to cultural activities, 18 monuments, 10 libraries, and 2660 educational institutions.
"The list is growing every day. Today Ukraine is fighting not only for the right to exist but defends its right to be a family member of Europe," she adds
The concept of the mural "Grains of Culture " opens at once three topics that are close both to Ukrainian and Kenyan people.
Three murals depict three symbols and ideas that are different but close simultaneously.
Among these symbols, one can find the reconsideration of the colonial past and the country's role as a post-colonial, the collapse of the empire, which is natural and close and is now trying to get back to its imperial roots while attacking other countries.
The authors of the mural also refer in their images to the symbols of the free future for both Ukraine and Kenya, to the national identity, strength, and resilience.
The mural "Grains of Culture" is strongly associated with the political, economic, and diplomatic relationships between Kenya and Ukraine through the symbols of coffee and wheat grains.
The mural "Grains of Culture" will be created with the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Kenya, the City Council of Nairobi, and the Phoenix House.
Within the opening preparations Port. team organizes the special event -- a matatu decorations workshop by Ukrainian and Kenyan artists.
On Monday, an artist from Ukraine, Alina Konyk, Kenya's Moha, created the unique matatu art, mixing personal styles and ideas to make an art piece that will soon take place among other "moving street art" objects -- matatu public buses.
Port. is a cultural development agency founded in 2017 and implementing projects on art and culture in Ukraine and abroad. Port. brings to life projects in collaboration with USAID, Ukrainian Institute, House of Europe, UN-Women, Unicef, MFA, MCIP, and Crimean Platform.
Ukrainian Institute was founded by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in 2017 and is affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Institute disseminates knowledge about Ukraine in foreign societies, involves a wide range of citizens of other countries in discussion and dialogue, provides visibility of the country in the media space, and offers Ukrainian narratives about Ukraine.
This project is implemented by the Port. agency ahead with Katya Taylor with the support of the MFA of Ukraine and the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Kenya