Syowia Kyambi is a contemporary award-winning Kenyan artist who uses photography and the archive as two key aspects of her practice to explore her country, her past, her sexuality and the shifting world around her. Her work traverses multiple platforms as she finds diverse and appropriate media through which to express herself – from sculpture, painting, video, sound to performance.
At the heart of her work is a critical interrogation with the ‘comfortable’ representations of history to the present. As her website more eloquently puts it, “In Kyambi’s artistic practice history collapses into the contemporary through the interventions of mischievous and disruptive interlocutory agents who interrogate the legacy of hurt inflicted by colonial projects that still frame the wider political conjuncture of now. The work is messy, complex and uneasy requiring its viewers and participants to bear witness to an embodiment of collective experiences, and a constant search for links between the now and the morphed now that is encapsulated in her work while asking important questions about what is remembered, what is archived, and how we see the world anew.”
She also has exhibited widely and is not only engaged with her art projects but continually interrogates the archive. She is a founder of the collective called Untethered.