Earlier this month, the RAVA crew was in Kenya shooting a documentary film for one of a series of short documentaries about smARTpower, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Bronx Museum of the Arts, that sends 15 U.S. artists abroad to work with local artists and young people around the world to create community-based art projects.
The artist sent to Nairobi, Kenya for a 45 day period was Miguel Luciano miguelluciano.com . His project comprised a large-scale kite project in which up to hundreds of participants from impoverished slum communities in and around Nairobi built handmade kites with life-size photographic self-portraits of themselves. When the kites were flown en masse in a final culminating event at the Ngong Hills at the footsteps of the Rift Valley, the project became a metaphor of freedom as the participants saw images of themselves flying simultaneously in the air above.
Miguel collaborated with several Kenyan artists from the Nairobi-based not-for-profit art organization Kuona Trust, and the Mukuru Slum arts collective and center Wajukuu Art Project, to help target, organize, train and mentor the youths participating in Miguel’s project. These very generous artists, together with Miguel and the participants from the Mukuru community, are the characters of our story.
Currently in post-production, the smARTpower: Miguel Luciano documentary will be released by end of 2012.