TRANS ATLANTIC

(Chapter One)

Most people usually want to be rebellious on the sensitive subject of slavery. In this series we explore, visually, this topic and more, both objectively and subjectively in a liberal way. 

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Trans Atlantic

Trans Atlantic had been a shelf idea for a little over two years and when we brought it out and breathed some life into it a few weeks ago, there could not have been a more valid time. Initially, our original idea was to visually discuss topics such as race, slavery and class both subjectively and objectively from an academic reference point while drawing inspiration from the Trans Atlantic Triangular trade of 16th -18th Century.

And by the time we were almost done putting the project together, Libya had successfully single handedly revived the memories of this turbulent part of history all over again in the most vivid, practical way.

So as a result, and as our duty as being conscious global citizens, we decided to add our own independent voice into this global conversation that is currently taking place. Not necessarily as a social commentary like how generally most creative artists would want to, but more simply as a visual illustration of some of the interchangeable themes and mixed feelings that come to mind on the subject.

Trans Atlantic

It is fascinating and particularly dreadful, as is in this case, to see how history has some kind of incurable endemic effect and just when you think we have made some considerable progress as a human race; suddenly we are back to where we started.

For the vast majority where most of us find ourselves, it is absolutely frustrating every time! That after all is said and done; we quickly realize how powerless we are. Incapable of affecting any meaningful tangible change and that at the end of the day all we have is a mouth to speak for or against certain issues on social media and a heart to hate or love.

Initially, when we were thinking about the best fashion to narrate the Trans Atlantic as a story in the modern time we live in, we were inspired by a hypothetical scenario of an old man who had lived through the days of slave trade and now many years later, he was sitting with his great granddaughter telling her this history of mankind.

A story of horror and triumph, hope and fear, a story of pain and joy living side by side, of how the mighty and strong gang up against the weaklings, with the weaklings, for the weaklings on a carefully crafted fallacy.

We were particularly interested in discussing the profound similarities between history and the modern time we live in on a lifestyle level and how technology and other socio-economical factors have changed and continue to change but mentalities seem to possess some kind of durable irresistibility to change.

Trans Atlantic

Our initial concept was ballooned by the current state of affair of some kind of organized turmoil on our planet. When you look at what’s happening around the world at the moment in some places in the Middle East and Africa specifically, it’s completely heart breaking to say the least. On the other hand, it is impossible and almost dangerous to buy into a single story.

Every story has a right to be told and heard in its entirety. You cannot, for example, talk about Libya or the Middle East or Europe or slavery etc in isolation without recognizing a bunch of other socio- economic factors. But fundamentally the political climate and its power to change the composition of these landscapes. (As a case study)Who is Libya? Who inflicted the pain on Libya? What do we know and what do we really not know? These are some of the questions that come to mind, especially when you rely on digital media as the primary source of information like most of us.

It’s daunting to realize how quickly and easily a gift can become a curse. How and why havoc only seems to wreck places that are rich in natural resources and places where leaders have an independent way of thinking for their country.

Further than that, the toughest homework of our generation is the internet. That everything happens so quickly so fast and we have to consume all this information at the same time, it gets numbing. You are not done with one hashtag then another one comes up and another and another...an endless cycle of sad news.

With time you begin to see these great injustices as regular occurrences and a part of life. That’s really the dilemma of our generation.

Trans Atlantic
Trans Atlantic


Anyhow, however things play out, and from whichever sides of a story you stand on, ultimately we are one huge family of the human race. And we should, despite of such painful realities, continue to nurse the hope for a better planet.

We're incredibly thankful to all our team members who helped us pull off this project, we appreciate each and every effort you put towards making this a success.

~Words by Haji Mutonye

 

Production Credits:

Photography: Pekat Photography

Styling:  Dress Creative Agency

Concept Development: Haji Mutonye & Patrick Kamau

Co-producers: Peter Njoroge & Ismail Akuku

Makeup: Annrose Njoroge

Assistants: Nick Mitalo, Brian Gathu

Talents: - Gabriella Msimbi

             -Kate Rajoro

             -Nick Karani

             -Monica Wangari

             -Sharon Njoroge

             -Ismail Shabaan

             -John Ndugire

             -"Ankal" Muhammad

              -Al Amiin Akuku

              -Hajji Mutonye

              -Ismail Akuku

NCRC (KE): Kidnapping Crisis

A series of images created for the National Crime Research Centre for their Emerging Crimes: Rising Cases of Kidnaping in Kenya, 2017 report.

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DETAILS:

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**CHARACTERS **

SOI  "The Caller" -This is the guys who call/communicates with the families or friends of the kidnapped to ask for ransom money. Our guy was dumb, the call was traced even before he hung up.

SOI "The Caller" -This is the guys who call/communicates with the families or friends of the kidnapped to ask for ransom money. Our guy was dumb, the call was traced even before he hung up.

ALI PARA  "The Guard" This is the guy who keeps watch, looks over the victims, alerts his members incase something goes wrong. Our guy was elusive and knew how to keep watch. The two member gang had been responsible for a few reported kidnapping cases.

ALI PARA "The Guard" This is the guy who keeps watch, looks over the victims, alerts his members incase something goes wrong. Our guy was elusive and knew how to keep watch. The two member gang had been responsible for a few reported kidnapping cases.

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Glad to have been given a limited hardcopy version of the report, signed by Stephen Muteti, Head of Research at NCRC.

Glad to have been given a limited hardcopy version of the report, signed by Stephen Muteti, Head of Research at NCRC.

PRODUCTION CREDITS;

Peter Pekat- Producer

Beata Otieno (Ojwa Styling)- Stylist

Kate Waititu (Kanai Beauties) - Makeup Artist

Nick Mitalo- Production Assistant

Ian Kola -Styling Assistant

Location: Kinale Forest

TALENTS:

Cynthia Karingu,

Luke Makokha

Stephen Wafula

Anthony Njenga

Peter & Kwach- Officers

The candle burns not for us, but for all those whom we failed to rescue from prison, who were shot on the way to prison, who were tortured, who were kidnapped, who "disappeared". That's what the candle is for -Peter Benenson

 

Text By; Patrick Kamau

GVRC: Domestic Violence

Gender/Domestic Violence is a reality in our homes today and most of these cases go unreported hence perpetrators repeatedly abuse the victims until such a time it becomes fatal. Everyones wish is to be raised in a non-abusive, loving home but not all of us get such a chance. Physical, mental and psychological torture has an adverse effect in the growth of a child or a family in general.

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This is the issue we wanted to highlight when we teamed up with Kate Waititu of Kanai Beauties to create a series of images for the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) which is a non-profit making, non-partisan; charitable trust of the Nairobi Women’s Hospital (NWH).

GVRC’s main purpose is to bring back meaning to survivor’s lives and their families where they do this through the provision of FREE medical treatment and psychosocial support to survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and engaging the public in advocacy issues and primary prevention of abuse.

Domestic violence is defined as “the wilful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behaviour as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.” When you look at the sobering statistics about the state of domestic violence in Kenya, its clear that very real threat in the Kenyan household.

I, personally having witnessed abuse of a child back in August 2014 where the perpetrator is still walking scot free, I am happy that I can finally be part of a campaign to help create awareness about this issue. 

In Kate's own words; "I was glad to team up with Pekat photography and be part of this campaign which is dear to my heart. I had grown up in an abusive environment and I know how that can affect a child. It’s an environment that is unpredictable, filled with tension and anxiety and dominated by fear, a life I can’t wish for any child to go through.

For the makeup looks we did a black eye look for the ‘Mom’ to show that she had been previously assaulted by the husband, and for the child we did a split lip indicating she had been previously hit by the father."

You can read more about Gender Based Violence on GVRC's Website http://gvrc.or.ke/ and Zero Violence 254-http://www.zeroviolence254.org/

Our primary theme of this shoot was to showcase a typical chaotic household with an 8 years old child who is directly or indirectly being affected by all these. To achieve that, we had to use a talent who would help us enact such a situation, with the support of other characters i.e 'Mum', relatively authoritative 'husband' who is of old age. We can't burry our heads in the sand and say that very young women aren't getting married to old men and thats why we used male and female talents with a wide age gap. However, the age of mom and two children had to be consistent and believable thats why we settled with middle aged mum, 8 year old child and another one year old.

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PRODUCTION CREDITS;

Peter Pekat- Producer

Beata Otieno (Ojwa Styling)- Stylist

Kate Waititu (Kanai Beauties) - Makeup Artist

Betty Mukiri - Makeup Assistant

Gonzanga Gonza- Guest Assistant

Pro Tisa - Props

Location: Farm Houz, Muguga

TALENTS:

Loise Mathini,

David Nganga

Cresenciah Wanjiku

Sandra Muthoni

“It is seldom that domestic violence is an isolated episode; rather it is comprised of a number of episodes over an extended period of time.” 
― 
Asa Don Brown

Text By: Patrick Kamau