Content House Kenya has released Turkana Sessions—a musical journey through the astounding culture and landscape of Turkana.
This project brings together Turkana artists: Jackson Nakuwa, Mourine Apuu, Jackson Ekori and Elizabeth Korikel in collaboration with Nairobi’s Eddie Grey in an exploration of the region’s musical heritage. All 10 songs off the project are performed live and were recorded in live form, by the breathtaking shores of Lake Turkana, in the pyramid hills at Eliye and the grass flats of Kerio, all in Turkana County.
Eddy Grey’s soulful guitar rhythms marry with authentic Turkana sounds to provide a rich and captivating showcase – depicting what is possible when we look at new ways of presenting our traditional art forms through high and quality production.
Link Ikabore Ekwang: https://youtu.be/krU8ByuBE3I
From songs about courting, reconciliation for couples, weddings, peace, losing livestock, beauty and how it transcends age, resources and diversity of Turkana to another – discouraging men from pursuing school-age girls; the 10-song project cuts across societal themes close to the day-to-day life of the communities living in Turkana. Through storytelling, the artists tackle different topics and life situations in a clever way.
“At Content House, bringing the voices of marginalized people to the forefront is one of our key missions and this project does that in beautiful and unexpected ways. We started out in the region working in photography and film, but always during breaks the artists broke into song and we knew we had to find a way of incorporating it into the larger project,” said Jackie Lebo, project director at Content House.
While Northern Kenya has historically been in the news for conflict and poverty, the region is also endowed with great beauty and cultural heritage. Its stark, arid landscape is home to Lake Turkana, the largest desert lake in the world. The lake’s distinctive green waters led it to be named the Jade Sea and its craters and crocodile-filled islands make it one of the most unique places to visit in the world.
Turkana Sessions is the third project from The Artists Xchange, a companion project of the feature documentary Turkana: Races for Resources http://www.turkanafilm.com/ which will be released in 2023. The project follows the series: The Flyest Wedding in Africa and Floating, Flying http://www.turkanafilm.com/artistsexchange/ off The Artists Xchange undertaking that brings together artists from Turkana and Nairobi to produce work that responds to the issues facing the region. The artists work in various disciplines including music, video art, film, fashion, visual art and photography.
This is a time of great change in Turkana to bring art to the forefront. There is an opportunity for artists from the Turkana and beyond to be part of discussions of the most urgent issues of their region. With all the valuable minerals being found in the region, communities need to be treated as equal partners. They are the custodians of a rich heritage that can inform a uniquely African thinking for what these natural resource finds mean to us.
It is time to change the narrative on Northern Kenya, show the world its art forms and inspire Kenyans to look to their roots for inspiration.