Installation shot from Liminalities: Concerning Identities (2016) at the Collins Gallery.

Masherehe, 2016. 

This installation is an early meditation on life between two geographies. Conceived as a contribution to the exhibition, Liminalities: Concerning Identities, the disposition of Masherehe, which translates to celebrations in Swahili, aims to reflect on the transformative experiences of immigration by presenting texts and photographs from my two birthday parties. The early images were taken on my second birthday in Nairobi while the rest were shot during my first birthday celebration in America. In relation to my family album, these are the only two documented celebrations of my birthday. 

In engaging with two forms of language, the visual and the written, my practice locates the correlation between how text further inform the image. The two journal entries were written by my sister during her writing exercises in her English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course. The friends mentioned in the entry are of our two first friends in America, Alan and Anisha, both of whom share similar cultural backgrounds with my family.

Masherehe purposes texts and images from the family archive as tools that observe and preserve immigrant life. They witness immigrants commence a new life as they simultaneously serve as art-objects that commemorate the strifes of becoming accustomed to culture and traditions on an alien land.