In November 2023, Jamii traveled to Nairobi and Naivasha with artists Aline Morales, Takako Segawa, Yasmine Omar, and Jamii's Founder and Alchemist Isorine Marc, to connect with local artists and develop bridges between communities.
Here is Aline's recounting of her experience there:
Traveling to Kenya was a dream.
A dream I didn’t even know I had.
As a mixed woman, coming from Brazil where the Afro diaspora is such a strong part of my identity, going to Africa felt like completing a cycle and adding a missing piece to the puzzle.
It was such a privilege to travel and share this experience with Takako Segawa, Isorine Marc, and Yasmine Omar. This group of women inspired me every day, not only with their art but also as humans, mothers, and everything that they were unfolding in front of me during these 15 days we were together.
In Nairobi, it was amazing to meet local artists and see how we all connected so fast with one another, and in such a natural way. We went to the studio together to collaborate and, even though we only had a few hours to work, we were able to create magic. And, for me, this shows how magical art is: it connects us on such a deep level! Together, we created an amazing performance, and the response from the crowd was even more magical. Singing, dancing, interacting, sharing stories together… something I will never forget.
The week we spent in Nairobi was intense and incredible. And every time I felt the need to ground myself, I would look at Yasmin and her beautiful and calm smile, or I would sit to watch Isorine and Takako doing homework with their kids. Those moments are also in my heart!
After Nairobi, we went to Naivasha where we experienced the countryside energy, which is completely different than Nairobi (BIG BIG CITY VIBES). We collaborated with the Rubiri Public School to both teach music and dance and learn from the students, ONE OF MY BIGGEST PASSION. It was incredible to share my music, and see how open, curious, and intuitive the kids responded to it! The whole process was heart-warming and special.
Together, we, the Jamii's team, local artists, and students, created a beautiful performance for parents and community members, which of course went beyond expectations. It brought me to tears. I can still remember each one of the students: their smiles and the sound of their voices. Have I mentioned I love people?
I feel experiences like that are what really matters to me.
It's the real purpose of art: to connect, to transform yourself, and to transform others.
As I write this text, I'm revisiting all the incredible moments we had in Kenya and it makes me smile. A big, generous smile. I’ll carry these memories in a special place in my heart and I will never ever forget these 15 days in Kenya.
A project supported by Canada Council for the Arts