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TWADUNDA TU: Kenyan Artists Exhibit in Poznan

What comes to mind hearing the Swhaili words ‘Twadunda Tu’? For Kenyan artists in Poland to attend the opening of TPAAE’s DUOS Festival, the phrase that means ‘just passing by’ was appropriate both for their month-long visit to Szczecin and the weekend they spent in the city of Poznan. Hence, it became the title of an exhibition of their art that took place in Poland’s fifth-largest city.
Twadunda Tu came about thanks to an invitation by DUOS participant Rafal Zarski, a Polish muralist who runs Domie Remont, the site of the exhibition which opened on July 5th. Artists affiliated with the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) and Kenyatta University showed works in the fields of Photography, Poetry, Film, Fashion Design, Digital Collage Art, Installations, Comic Books, and Murals. They included TUM student Philip Tangara, Jonathan Mbinga, Joseph Allan Green, Mike Okoth, Tommie Ominde, and Yona Mudibo. Others included Ann Mwiti and Prof. John Mugubi, from Kenyatta University.
The artists were accompanied by researchers from TUM, Dr. Wanyenda Chilimo and Dr. Michael Saulo on their visit. Despite a hailstorm weather alert that coincided with the opening, the artists still braved the weather and the exhibition succeeded in attracting art lovers in the hippy city.
Artists and the researchers used their time to visit the National Museum in Poznan, where they viewed centuries-old antique paintings, as well as installations and an exhibition by a Japanese designer, Kenya Hara. The visit was icing on the cake for the artists, who spent several hours in animated discussion about the works displayed at the museum. Later, they toured the city on foot, visiting its attractions before catching their train back to Szczecin – a rail journey that afforded them a look at the beautiful countryside that separates the cities.
As American choreographer Twyla Tharp noted: “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home”. It is a statement with which Kenyan visitors and those taking in the Twadunda Tu exhibition might well agree.

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