The School of Anxiety (SoA) is a project by curator and critic Moses Serubiri within the framework of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, focused on subjective anxieties. Its second iteration takes place in Nairobi (KE) in February 2018 and addresses the anxieties of mourning and ethnic subjectivity that have colored recent memory in Kenya. Like the inaugural edition in Johannesburg (ZA), also the Nairobi edition consists of an internal workshop with Awuor Onyango, Nyakallo Maleke, and Sanyu Kiyimba-Kisaka, led by Moses Serubiri, which is followed by a public presentation that this time has the format of a performance within I’m not who you think I’m not on February 15, 2018, at Uhuru Park.
Awuor Onyango is a writer and visual artist based in Nairobi, KE. She took part in a number of workshops at Kuona Trust – Centre for Visual Arts in Kenya. In 2014, she participated in Sanaa , an exhibition for upcoming artists at the Kenya Art Fair – Wasanii Exhibition in Nairobi, and has since started experimenting with video art and mixed-media works on paper as well as sculpture. She is currently exploring motion-triggered video installations as well as experimental film as media for examining the transgression, shame, and discomfort of the black feminine. She has shown her works Library of Silence (2016) and Limbe (2016) at CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival (2016), Accra, GH; and participated in the Nyege Nyege Festival (2016), Jinja, UG; SHE (2016), Sweet ’Art, London, UK; and the Art @ The Bus Wkend (2016), Nairobi.
Nyakallo Maleke is a multimedia artist based in Johannesburg, ZA. Her process-based practice consists of an investigation into time, space, and the social politics of the everyday in post-independence South Africa. Installation, video, sound, printmaking, and found objects and materials are used to reimagine the present, its meanings and the implications of “what it means to be alive.” Her practice seeks to negotiate ways to provide alternative “truths” within spaces that often make it impossible to negotiate ways of being in the world.
Sanyu Kiyimba-Kisaka, also known as Aganza, has a deep passion for playwriting, song writing, poetry, dancing, and acting. She started writing poetry at the young age of seven and went on to win the Babishai Niwe Poetry Award, UG, in 2011 for her poem A hand swing of disguised depravity (2009). After earning her BA in theater and psychology at New York University Abu Dhabi, AE, Kiyimba-Kisaka returned to Uganda to continue her career as an actress. She has starred in several plays and films, her latest memorable performance being lead actress for the film Faithful (2016) by Richard Nondo. Her play Black (2015), dealing with issues of blackness, race, and identity, was also a highlight at the 2016 Kampala International Theatre Festival (KITF), UG. This year, her short story Operation: Mother’s Bruises, yet to be released, was selected for the Afriwowri (African women writers) Literary Project. Inspired by the burning questions of her heart and the complexities of society, Kiyimba-Kisaka continues to direct, write, and act – hoping to understand or at least reveal important issues.
Moses Serubiri is an independent writer and curator based in Kampala, UG. He is interested in meta-narratives and scholarly practices beyond the field of art. Serubiri is currently on the curatorial team of the 10th Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art. He is published in How Institutions Think (CCS Bard and MIT Press) and in Recent Histories: Contemporary African Photography and Video Art (The Walther Collection and Steidl). He was on the selection committee for the 2017 and 2018 Investec Cape Town Art Fair, ZA. In 2014, he co-curated the Kampala Contemporary Art Festival (KLA ART), with a team advised by Gabi Ngcobo. In 2013 Serubiri organized A History of Kadongo Kamu, a radio documentary on the history of recorded music in Uganda. He also edited the online journal START – A Journal of Arts and Culture in East Africa. In 2011 Serubiri was a critic at The New Vision, one of Uganda’s leading daily newspapers. In 2015 he received a fellowship at the University of Bayreuth, DE, as “Stadtschreiber” (City Writer) and is an alumni of the Àsìkò International Art School at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, NG. His writings are featured in Chimurenga Chronic, Frieze, Manifesta Journal, and Africa is A Country.