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Pandemic Panels #4: East Africa & Decolonizing Art Spaces
January 29, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Join us for an interdisciplinary, year-long series of intimate conversations with theatre artists on the challenges of creating work under the pandemic, and engaging with social justice movements around the world.
Curated by Prof. Shayoni Mitra, Department of Theatre, Barnard College. This series is brought to you by the Dasha Epstein Visiting Artists and Scholars Fund. Zoom ID: 992 5790 1410. Attendees will be prompted to register to get passcode.
Joy is the Executive Director of The GoDown Arts Centre, a non-profit long running multi-disciplinary national and regional focal point for artistic experimentation, cross-sector partnerships and creative collaborations in East Africa. The GoDown’s mission is to inspire and enrich Kenyans through arts, culture and creativity, with the aim to contribute to Kenya’s cultural confidence and prosperity. The centre houses various arts organizations in the visual and performing arts.
The GoDown started out as a shared collective space promoting freedom of artistic expression and facilitating the development of diverse artistic voices, through training programs and by providing subsidized production spaces. The centre’s activities have broadened out into community, with such public programs as the ambitious annual Nairobi-wide Nai Ni Who festival through which The GoDown explores questions of identity, agency and belonging in the city. The centre’s practice has further extended into policy advocacy for a better working environment for Kenyan artists. The GoDown carries this out through its membership in the Creative Economy Working Group, Nairobi.
The GoDown champions the role of culture in sustainable urban development, and nationhood. Currently, Joy is leading a unique, participatory and multi-stakeholder process to transform the centre into a civic-scale public-benefit cultural institution. The 30,000sqm capital project, reinforced by diverse inputs and robust partnerships and relationships, is a mixed-use development combining non-profit cultural and commercial programmes.
Joy has received several awards and commendations for cultural leadership. She was Gildersleeve professor at Barnard in Spring 2020.