In May, Harambee Arts returned to the prison with Margaret and Ann from Africa Yoga Project for more yoga and expressive arts. Margaret and Ann taught two yoga classes while Sofia led the women through drawing Gratitude Mandalas. They are both fantastic yoga teachers, with an ideal balance of discipline and humour. Their classes combine yoga with music and even a little dancing while in warrior position! During the class each woman visibly experiences several emotions or feelings from frustration and pain to joy and strength. This can be seen in their expressions- bright smiles and giggles or contorted faces […]
On March 30th, Harambee Arts partnered with Moses, Margaret and Ann from Africa Yoga Project to bring a combination of yoga and creative expression to the women of Langata prison. The women thoroughly enjoyed themselves! Some of them were natural serious yogis, lifting into shoulder stands with complete ease, while some giggled and collapsed. It was a lot of fun. Since the group is now 60 women strong, half the women took a yoga class while the others painted and drew. After an hour the groups switched, followed by a delicious, filling lunch. One of the prisoners on remand […]
On March 2nd, the women of Langata Prison painted their self-portraits. We went through three meditations and visualizations where each woman explored three things she loves about herself. After the meditations, the women painted self-portraits to portray these three visualised qualities, features etc. Both the process and results were powerful!
The Harambee Arts group continues to grow. Last week there were more than 50 women dancing and painting their stories. One of them said, “I have a sense of belonging in this group. Someone cares about us.”
Langata Women's Prison Body Map Exhibition, 'Transcending Bars', at Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Art in Nairobi
Langata Women’s HIV+ Support Group has been ongoing for more than a year. In June we celebrated the opening of the women's body map exhibition at Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Art (RaMoMA) in Nairobi. As more prisoners join the group and others are released we continue to share art and dance and observe in awe as they express themselves through color and movement. They take the time to safely tell their stories, dreams, regrets and worries. We listen without judgement. In our last visit one of the woman shared the following words on her piece, ‘My life would be easier […]
These body maps will be exhibited at the RaMoMa Museum of Modern Art in Nairobi with an opening reception on May 20, 2009. A former prisoner (she created one of the paintings that will be on exhibit) is helping to coordinate the exhibit and she will speak at the opening. The body maps will also be on display in Venice, Italy during the conference for The Arts in Society from July 28 – August 1, 2009. View more photos of Body Maps by Langata Women's Prisoners >>
Volunteer Kenn Rakwach, taught salsa dancing to the Harambee Arts support group of HIV+ women prisoners at Langata Women's Prison in Nairobi. The women loved the class and Kenn agreed to continue teaching them. Even one of the wardens started to dance. Next time I plan to break a few prisoners out of that place while the wardens are distracted and dancing (just kidding). Kenn and I have a dream to start a women prisoners salsa dancing group…complete with cute costumes…and they can perform within the prison. That's a dream…but I think that it could happen. View Photo Album of Langata Women's Prison >>
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