Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hay Festival Kenya: Some of the things you might have missed enjoying the Festival

The first thing to note is that the venue of this year’s Storymoja festival was superb. This is the first time this festival was held at the National Museum. The first Storymoja festival was held at Impala grounds then it was transferred to Uhuru Park gardens for two subsequent years.
What is so great about National Museum?
a.       Louis Leakey Auditorium
The Louis Leakey auditorium served as the US Embassy stage in the festival. I have attended some events at the auditorium such as TEDx and movie festival screening of the Brazil Embassy and in my opinion it is one of the best spaces to stage an event. It has a state of the art sound system, good lighting and the place is in mint condition. It has a sitting capacity of around 300 people.
This auditorium was renovated with the help of Safaricom Foundation and was named in honor of Louis Leakey a great Kenyan who has put Kenya in the world map with his archeological work.
b.      Main Museum
The main museum served as the Screening location [Ford Hall] and also as a venue where most of the master classes took place [Discovery Room]. Thus, the festival ticket gave you access to the museum.
Inside the museum there we’re a number of exhibitions currently running. One of this was by Michael Soi. Michael is one of my favourite visual artists because he paints like he sees it in Nairobi. In our society which considers it’s self to be religious. There are some things that occur when darkness sets in. Also, in this exhibition was a tongue in cheek reference to Miguna Miguna in his in famous clarion come baby come.
c.       Snake Park
The festival ticket also allowed one to enter the snake park. I am NOT a big fan of snakes but I had a shot at it and in there lies some big snakes and reptiles. Let’s hope the Museum staff don’t Strike soon!
d.      Amphitheatre
The Storymoja amphitheatre was next to savanna restaurant. This being an open space was fantastic if you have outdoor sensibilities.
e.      Grounds
The Museum grounds provided perfect picnic spots for families and for nature lovers they we’re treated to bird walks by the Nature Kenya staff who were at hand.
f.        Junk art! 
Lastly, the festival was brought to live with art made from previously Junk material.  This exhibition featured computer monitor with had been recreated to resemble the face of a person, there were also good coffee tables and my favourite the monkeys which I aptly named the see, hear, talk & f@#k no evil monkeys

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