Department of Media and Communications hosts the Sounds of Freedom Exhibition

By Jemima Oloo

On Tuesday, May 24, the Department of Media and Communications hosted the Sounds of Freedom Exhibition, a creation of Mutana Wanjira, an alumnus of the B.A Journalism program (Class of 2015).

The exhibition was a unique audio film series that hoped to bring Kenyans closer to their history by welcoming them to an immersive experience that allows them to come face to face with the realities of what it took to liberate Kenya from British imperialism.

The event consisted of an insightful panel discussion with the Exhibition’s Founder and Creative Producer, Mutana and Prof. Sylvester Mutua. The discussion touched on several issues, among them the gap between the young generation of creatives and the older generation especially in management. The panel also discussed the lack of access, policy and partnerships for creatives and the need to decolonize the current perspectives that people have of creatives.

Prof. Sylvester Mutua encouraged artists to be passionate and to be persistent in order to achieve success similar to other USIU-Africa alumni, John Allan Namu and Asha Mwilu, who have won numerous accolades in their field, reiterating the importance of students making the most of their stay at USIU-Africa to create and innovate.

Mutana noted that creatives also needed to find a sense of financial freedom and leadership in order to avoid relying solely on grants but on their audience or other sustainable methods. "Be able to stand on your own feet then reach out to networks," he noted. This was a sentiment shared by Dr. Mathieu Guerin, who encouraged young creatives to reach out for opportunities that the Embassy provides in partnership with Alliance Française.

Carving out a niche was discussed as being key for artists and creatives to stand out, the quality of individual stories and the ability to learn and recreate through the acquisition of technical skills that would enable them to craft their own stories.

The exhibition that was done in partnership with Campus France, the Association of France alumni in Kenya, The Embassy of France and USIU-Africa. It was attended by the Attaché for Science and Higher Education, Deputy Head of Cooperation and Cultural Affairs Department, Dr. Mathieu Guerin and the DVC Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. Munyae Mulinge.

Mutana holds an MSc in Management and Entrepreneurship in the creative economy from Audencia Business School in France. He is the founder of the African Fiction Academy and has used the Academy to give back through innovation within the cultural and creative ecosystem which led to the birth of the Sounds of Freedom project.

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