Ogutu Muraya (KE)
In his haunting one-person play, the Kenyan author and theatre-maker Ogutu Muaraya explores the complex colonial heritage that still has an impact on social and artistic perspectives in the former colonialised countries. Using photographs, film recordings and literary texts, he interweaves personal memories of the riots during the Kenyan presidential elections between 1997 and 2007 with an event from collective memory: a 1956 congress at the Sorbonne in Paris, where African intellectuals discussed colonialism, slavery and the anti-colonial trend “Négritude” in the face of advancing decolonization. The starting point for Muraya’s presentation is the essay “Princes and Power” by James Baldwin, who also attended the congress.
Ogutu Muraya’s works deal with traditional oral storytelling and search for new forms of storytelling. For him, art is a means of preserving narratives and questioning certainties. After studying International Relations, he completed his Master’s degree at the Academy of Theatre and Dance at the University of the Arts in Amsterdam. Today he lives in Nairobi and is a guest artist at numerous international festivals.