The Nest Collective
A collective of 10 artists creating work together using film, visual arts, music and fashion
The Nest Collective is a small army of thinkers, makers and believers living and working in Nairobi. Together they explore their troubling modern identities, re-imagine their pasts and remix their futures. In all of their works, they prioritize the acknowledgement and stating of their different individual perspectives and privileges. They don't always agree with one another, and their work strives to convey that dialogue. They create work together using film, visual arts, music and fashion - dissecting and subverting the layers of how Africans are seen and unseen, what Africans can and cannot do, where Africans can and cannot go, and what Africans can and cannot say. In all of their works, they prioritize the acknowledgement and stating of their different individual perspectives and privileges.
“Wall of Men”, a 2014 series in progress by the Nest Collective, depicts the fable of a clan who built a wall of Men to protect themselves from Kua - the Death Spirit. Every seven days Kua would visit to claim one soul. Because of the wall, she could not enter the village and instead took one man from the wall, creating a gap. The people of the village drew lots to pick who would fill the gap, until the daughter of Duneh -the wealthiest man in the village - was chosen for the duty. Duneh refused to release his daughter, causing a crisis in the village. The community chose to close the gap by closing the wall in to eliminate the gap. From that day forward, no one agreed to fill the gap, despite Kua creating new gaps every seven days. In the end, the wall was too small to surround the village, and Kua claimed all their souls.
Another Nest Collective body of work entitled, “When We Are/When We are Not” depicts the story of four unsettled sojourners who seek a freedom beyond the frame. Whether in outdoor vistas, opulent interiors or candlelit, meditative moments, in solitude or gathered together, the regal demeanor of the four belies a definite, dignified discontent, and their simmering intentions remain un-shared and unexplored. Through the eyes of the elegant wanderers, the collective explores the secrets of insatiable black African ambition and a growing restlessness with the trappings of prescribed earthly liberty.
The Nest Collective is the 2015 Berlinale Teddy Awards Jury Prize winner; 2015 Berlinale Panorama Audience Award 2nd place winner; 2015 Berlin Fashion Film Festival, Best Original Music winner and the 2014 Upinde Gay and Lesbian Awards, Tukio Award winner. They have featured work in internationally recognized film screenings including the Toronto International Film Festival (2016); Berlin International Fashion Film Festival (2015); MoMA Documentary Fortnight Festival (2015); 65th Berlin International Film Festival (2015) BFI: Flare (2015); MoMA Documentary Fortnight Festival (2015); Toronto International Film Festival (2014); and Bokeh International Fashion Film Festival (2014). Since 2014, The Nest Collective has exhibited their work in Guggenheim Bilbao, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, FNB Joburg Art Fair, Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove, Vitra Design Museum Cape Town, and Mediations Biennale in Poznan, Poland.