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October 27 , 2007

Cultural Production and Change in Kenya: Building Bridges


Art, Culture and Society Vol 1 is the first in a series of books to be published by Twaweza Communications on the relationship between art and society, with special reference to Kenya. It is part of a cultural leadership initiative being undertaken by the organization through a reexamination of the arts as they are produced and studied. This volume brings together important reflections on the arts and is a major step in encouraging dialogue on the relationship between creativity and the human condition in the region. Significantly, it creates a space for university-based academics to engage in dialogue with artists and writers based outside institutions of higher learning. The conversations will bridge the gap between the two domains for knowledge production and enrich creative enterprise in Kenya, in theory and practice. As the essays in this collection show, the present global situation demands a way to conceptualise and theorise an ever growing cultural interconnectedness, sometimes manifested in art; and interconnectedness that draws from a myriad of cultures and experiences. Through the bridges of contact and cultural exchange distant images are mediated and brought closer to us. They are reinterpreted and modified. In the final analysis, culture is shown to be an important aspect of human creativity but separateness and boundedness is contested. Instead, culture is shown to be malleable and fluid. The essays bring in a new freshness to our reading of the creative arts coming out of Kenya.
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