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Film in Focus as Kenyatta University Researchers Visit Poland

A team of Five Kenyatta University members of academic staff in the Creative Arts disciplines finalized a two-month academic and cultural secondment in Poland under a Horizon Europe project titled “Transcultural Perspectives of Art and Art Education”. The Team arrived in Poland on the 1st of June.

Led by Prof. John Mugubi from the Department of Communication, Media, Film and Theatre Studies, the team from KU was composed of Dr. Beneah Alwang’a Azangalala (a Lecturer in the department of Communication, Media, Film and Theatre Studies), Mr. Adonijah Ombura (who lectures in Textile Design), Ms. Anne Mwiti (a specialist in Painting who teaches in the department of Fine Art and Design), and Clinton Kihima (a PhD candidate and Tutorial fellow in the area of Film, who travelled with the team as part of an Erasmus+ visit). The team from KU was hosted by the Academy of Art in Szczecin (AAS), which is TPAAE’s lead partner.

During the visit, the scholars have given lectures on different facets of the aesthetics of African/Kenyan Art and facilitated workshops, exhibitions, and film screenings. The team has also attended conferences and visited notable Film schools, Art and design Academies, and Film archives as part of their time in Poland.

From June 12-19, 2023, the researchers from Kenyatta University toured the city of Łodz and visited Sokołowsko village. Hosted by Prof. Aneta Pawlowska, the team toured the University of Łodz Faculty of Philology and its Department of Film and Audio-visual Media. At the University of Łodz, Prof. John Mugubi from KU delivered a public lecture entitled “African Art as Ontological Cultural-Political Proclamations: A Case of the Kenyan Film”.

The team from KU also visited the world-famous Łodz Film School, the city’s Museum of Cinematography, the Academy of Fine and Design, the Museum of the City of Łodz, the Museum of Art, the Central Museum of Textiles, and the Herbst Palace Museum.

In the beautiful village of Sokolowsko, located in Lower Silesia, the KU team visited the Museum of Contemporary Art that the In Situ Foundation is creating from a legendary 19th-century sanatorium. KU researchers explored the Film Archive of noted Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski, whose Three Colours trilogy is among the films that gained him worldwide acclaim. Films made by KU staff and students were screened and discussed at the late director’s Centre in Sokolowsko in southwestern Poland, where the team also toured a gallery and art spaces.

From 26th June to 1st July 2023, the Kenyatta University team toured the capital city of Poland, Warsaw, for a number of activities. The team attended the 4th Congress of the Polish Film and Media Studies Association, 28th-30th of June 2023. The Conference was hosted by the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities. During the visit to the Polish capital, the KU team also visited the Academy of Fine Arts and the Warsaw School of Film.

In July, KU researcher Anne Mwiti, who is obtaining her doctorate from the Academy of Art in Szczecin, will present an exhibition of painting at the Academy’s R+ gallery that opens on July 13. The Exhibition will be part of her PhD work.

The team attended also a Film Festival and Art Exhibitions in Berlin, Germany, from 29th to 31st July, before traveling back to Kenya on 1st August 2023.

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