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Jamii's Baraza: Connecting Communities through Intentional Conversations and Artistic Encounters

“Baraza” is a Swahili word that means “a meeting of people who come together to share ideas with intent and purpose”. Imagine a street corner, an issue to be discussed, a few chairs - some occupied with people already busy exchanging ideas, while other chairs remain free, waiting to welcome more people into the circle – people who would join in the conversation in order to contribute their own perspective to the issue. A Baraza happens with intention and purpose but also spontaneously, in-situ, impromptu serendipity and relevance to the “now”.

Our project, our Baraza, creates an intentional conversation between artists from our community in downtown Toronto, The Esplanade, and Nairobi, in Kenya to explore the building of bridges between our two communities where people and stories are the heart of the connection. The exploration unfolds through artistic encounters, intentional discussions, story sharing, and the exchange of multiple community-engaged arts practices.

Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts, Jamii is travelling to Kenya and we are eager to share this adventure with you.

Our Founder and Alchemist, Isorine Marc, is already in Kenya to set the ground for the arrival of Aline Morales, Takako Segawa, and Yasmine Omar. She met with Steve Collins Odipo Opondo from Creatives Garage , a multidisciplinary arts centre, which produces a wide range of programmes with the intent to offer creative opportunities in the market. From producing a festival, to giving awards, to organizing masterclasses and distributing short films, Creatives Garage is buzzing with artistic initiatives.

Isorine also met with Nancy Muttai and Chelsea Guya from Sekoya East Africa, an arts organization based in Nairobi, founded by Zarita Adhiembo. Sekoya’s mission is to promote the discovery, cultivation and celebration of creative arts in East Africa. Sekoya is a key partner in our Baraza!

Follow us through our adventure as we connect you with the artists we are meeting, and sharing along the Kenya we are discovering!


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