Turkana Artists Xchange

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Turkana Artists Xchange was conceptualized by Jackie Lebo in 2018 as a companion project that grew out of working on the forthcoming feature documentary, Turkana: Race for Resources. It brings together 14 creatives who make new collaborative artworks uniting practices across visual arts, music, fashion and design inspired by and responding to urgent issues in Turkana. Turkana Artists Xchange has, to date, created seven projects since its inception.

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Mourine Apuu (Turkana, Kenya) Coming from the extreme north of Turkana County, near the border with Ethiopia, Mourine Apuu’s work addresses conflict between the communities that inhabit this border region and challenges power structures that perpetuate it.

Jackson Ekori (Turkana, Kenya) Jackson Ekori grew up steeped in the vast musical heritage of his people. His father and aunt were sought after singers who traveled long distances to perform at Edong’a ceremonies. For Jackson, the future has to make room for the past. His music draws from the songs he heard as a child while addressing the issues Turkana faces now.

Eddie Grey (Nairobi, Kenya) Songwriter, composer, producer and arranger, Eddie Grey is a self-taught musician who continues to mirror the issues of the society through the fusion of local and western music. He is heavily influenced by jazz harmony, classical engagement, African rhythm and electronic grooves, but can playfully cross over from one genre to the next.

Suki Kibunguri (Nairobi, Kenya) Makeup artist Suki Kibunguri draws on traditional body painting and adornment techniques to tell contemporary African stories. His work seeks to go beyond aesthetics by creating looks that draw on the symbolism, context and pattern of materials such as ochre, chalk and clay to evoke their historical use in ritual and ceremony.

Elizabeth Korikel (Turkana, Kenya) Born and raised in the outskirts of Lokichar town in Turkana South, Elizabeth didn’t finish school due to lack of fees and culture restrictions that expected girls to stay home and be married so that their dowry could increase their families’ wealth. Elizabeth ran away from an unhappy marriage and set up a business and beading practice in Lokichar town. Her work forges a new path for alternative expression, challenging norms by creating new shapes with old beading techniques.

Jackie Lebo (Nairobi /Uasin Gishu /Narok, Kenya) Jackie Lebo is a director, writer, photographer and founder of the Content House collective. Raised in various parts of the Rift-Valley, her work is inspired by the region and the peoples within it. Her films include Gun to Tape, a documentary following 800m World Record Holder David Rudisha and Marathon World Champion Edna Kiplagat in the run-up to the London Olympics and The Last Fight, on the once-great Kenyan boxing team. Her writing has appeared in the Financial Times, the East African, The Africa Report, Kwani?, Chimurenga and The Caine Prize Anthology. Her photographs have appeared in 10tal, Farafina, and 24 Nairobi. Jackie is currently working on several projects that explore the nexus between traditional societies and modernity.

Margy Modo (Karamoja, Uganda) As a child in a rapidly modernizing Uganda, Margy became aware of the distinctiveness of her Karamoja heritage. Following in the footsteps of generations of beading artists, Margy creates beaded necklaces and belts that honor this heritage. The Karamoja are one of the constituent groups of The Ateker, a group of communities with similar language, culture and mythology including: Turkana, Toposa, Jie and Nyagatom.

Chebet Mutai (Nairobi, Kenya) Disillusioned with the international aid system’s inability to bring meaningful change to Africa, Chebet Mutai left her job as an economist at the World Bank and founded Wazawazi, a high-end leather goods company. Through her company and collaborations with other artists, she creates work to show the world what contemporary Africa has to offer.

Jackson Nakuwa (Turkana, Kenya) One of the most well known contemporary musicians in Turkana, Jackson Nakuwa’s music speaks to the joy and pain of the human condition in universal hits such as “Regina.” A fisherman by day, Jackson is also the head of the fishermen’s association in Kalokol, Lake Turkana.

Migwa Nthiga  (Nairobi, Kenya) Migwa is the founder of creative media house Magiq Lens and one of Kenya’s most accomplished photographers. He is known for the human stories he tells through his portraits. His work has been featured on National Geographic and the Sony World Photography Awards.

Ondivow (Nairobi, Kenya) Born and raised in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa, Ondivow is a filmmaker and stylist who creates work that challenges narratives about his neighborhood.He attended the Kibera Film School and won eleven awards at the Filamu Students Film Festival and was a third runner up at Slum Film Festival. As “The Most Stylish Man in Kibera”, he headlined the award-winning short film Picha Marangi which won Best Fashion Film in the 2018 Bokeh Film Festival in Cape Town.

Eric Otieno (Turkana, Kenya) Born and raised in Lodwar town, Eric has been a visual artist since he was 15 years old. His work is inspired by Turkana women and the challenges they face culturally, economically and from the harsh environment and by their ability to rise above their hardships. 

Chelagat Tum (Nairobi, Kenya) Chelagat Tum is a producer at Content House. She has worked on projects including the feature films Rugged Priest, The First Grader and On Becoming a Guinea Fowl and the photography series Capture Kenya. At Content House she has produced Kenya Navy at 50 and the award winning feature documentaries Gun to Tape and The Last Fight. She is currently producing two feature documentaries – Turkana: Race for Resources and The Birds and The Bees.


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