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Pwani Professor to Lecture in Szczecin on Christian Influence in East African Art

Prof. Stephen Muoki, Ph.D., the institutional lead at TPAAE partner Pwani University, will deliver an Erasmus+ lecture in Szczecin on the influences of the Christian religion in art made in East Africa. A religious historian, the Director of the Board of the Undergraduate Studies at the Kenyan seat of higher learning will examine the life and work of noted painter Elimo Njau for students and educators at the Academy of Art in Szczecin. He will reconstruct Njau’s story as a Christian visual artist founding for East African art whose work is ‘largely unrecognized by the current dominant narrative’ in religion and art histories within the region and the world at large. Njau’s ability to internalize, contextualize and communicate Christian messages in native imagery resonated profoundly in the socio-political and religious conflicts in colonial Kenya.
The maker of the five paintings known popularly as The Murang’a Murals, Njau trod the line between colonial ideology and the Mau Mau freedom fighters whose struggle liberated Kenya from British rule in 1963. During his working life, the artist born in 1936 in Tanzania and trained at Uganda’s Makerere University incorporated native African expressions in European forms. True to the meaning of his given name, Rekyaelimoo, which means ‘dedicated his soul to God’, Njau’s oeuvre addresses themes of African religion and Christianity, as well those of religion and art itself.
Prof. Stephen Muoki’s lecture will take place on May 9th at the Academy’s Palace Under the Globe.
The lecture begins at 12.15 pm in Room 204 and is open to the public.

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