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Technical University of Mombasa Team Concludes Successful Szczecin Secondment

Two Researchers from Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) took up a one-month secondment to Szczecin, Poland, from the 12th of June to the 11th of July, 2023. The team from TUM was hosted by the National Museum in Szczecin (NMS). Members making the trip included Dr. Wanyenda Chilimo, TUM’s TPAAE coordinator, and Dr. Juma Michael Saulo, Registrar in Charge of Partnerships Research & Innovation.
Eight artists affiliated with TUM also made the trip and participated in an exhibition of the third edition of the Polish-Kenya DUOS festival, themed Social Ecology, which opened on June 29, 2023, at the NMS Museum of Contemporary Art.
The TUM team took part in the preparation of the Social Ecology exhibition in collaboration with Curators Łukasz Jastrubczak from the Art Academy (AS) in Szczecin, and Marlena Chybowska-Butler of the NMS. The team further toured galleries and art spaces within Szczecin, including a number of openings that took place during the visit. At the NMS facility at Wały Chrobrego, the team visited one of Poland’s greatest collections of non-European cultures, which includes an ethnographic exhibition of artifacts collected on the African continent. Members also toured the museum’s storage spaces.
Fellow researchers from NMS, Chybowska-Butler and Ewa Pradzynska, guided the team in Berlin on a visit that took in the Martin Gropius Bau Museum, where an exhibition called “Indigo Waves” brought together works by contemporary artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers, and researchers that traces and investigates the links between Asia and Africa. The exhibition considers the Indian Ocean as a communal horizon, revealing forces that shaped cultural, linguistic, political, and historical developments on the two continents from ancient times to the present.
Also in Berlin, the team visited O Quilombismo exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Museum. The O Quilombismo philosophy originated from Brazil and signifies communities created by formerly enslaved peoples to form societies of ‘fraternal and free reunion’. The HKW frames O Quilombismo as a philosophy of resistance and insistence, with emancipation – whether by those slaves who escaped or were freed – viewed a platform for the creation of spaces of freedom.
In an effort to forge further collaborative links with Polish educators in Szczecin, TUM researchers visited the West Pomeranian University of Technology (ZUT), where they met with Prof. Grzegorz Wojtkun, Dean, Faculty of Architecture. They also visited the Patent and Standardization Information Center of the Main Library, where Library Director Anna Gryta and Dr. Eng. Justyna Zatorska, a patent attorney from the Department of Inventions and Patent Protection, shared with them the ZUT’s methods and practices for managing intellectual property.
At the Maritime University of Szczecin, the team met with Prof. Janusz Uriasz, Vice Rector for Innovation and Development, to discuss possible areas of collaboration between the two Universities Also attending were Prof. Zbigniew Pietrzykowski, Dean Faculty of Computer Science and Telecommunications, and Przemysław Puzoń, Head of the International Students & Mobility Office.
This being a summer secondment, and in the spirit of sharing cultural experiences, the team from Technical university of Mombasa participated in a variety of social and cultural activities. These included attending a Polish wedding, participating in Kupala Night mid-summer celebrations, kayaking on the Oder River, and a bike ride. In addition, the team prepared a traditional Kenyan lunch during the last weekend of the stay for their Polish hosts and friends at the Dom Skandynawski, a Scandinavian meeting and conference centre which is operated by the City of Szczecin with financial support from a Swedish retailer operating there.

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