In the past month (25th June till the 6th July) 2 artists from Nani’s Kitengela Glass, Maina and Kibe, have visited Washington DC for extended presentations and lectures at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (http://www.festival.si.edu/2014/Kenya). They build a house on the spot and gave lectures on the famous Kitengela Glass recycling art and architectural style.
It turned out to be a great success; especially the intercultural exchange part of it was very informing for many of the visitors of the festival “ Sir, which Kenyan tribe builds like this?” was an often heard question “It’s the Kitengela Glass tribe, sir”. Which off course was a joke, but this at the same time gave food for thought and discussion on what a modern Kenyan tribe actually is, what traditional building styles are and how they can be renewed, reinvented, adapted to modern styles of building that incorporate ideas about recycling, sustainability and harmony with ones surroundings. In short, it was a beautiful diverse intercultural pressure cooker where Kitengela Glass, in the persons of Maina and Kibe, added some spicy much needed ingredients to. Bon appétit, Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2014.