Unwilting and TenderStill (KE)


Kuln’zu’s portrait series shows young queer people from the cultural scene of Nairobi (Kenya), visionary heroes who create spaces for visibility and representation in a powerful cultural and artistic practice. The series focuses on the tenderness of community in which you can be held and hold each other at the same time. Tender queer heroes lifting each other up in a warm embrace.



“Unwilting and TenderStill” is a technique and motif-rich exploration of intimate spaces in which bodies question the relationship to themselves, the environment surrounding them and the body of the other. Kuln’Zu shows constellations of bodies that form new units, sometimes harmonious, sometimes full of tension. According to Kuln’Zu, the series „centers tenderness and intimacy as resistance. Diverse interpretations of holding and being held circulate through different techniques such as photography, photomontage and material collage.”


Kuln’Zu: “All the people featured are active participants of the burgeoning Nairobi creative scene. In this day and age, the creative and cultural space is where queer African youth can articulate their alternative politics and visions of the future. Through self and community representations through visual art, we carve a space in how we want to be seen in the present and the future. Here we express the forms and modes that we want to be held, the ways we build community and networks.”



Kuln’Zu is a Nairobi-based, Mozambique-born multidisciplinary artist working across photography, video and poetry. Crafts multimedia/layered meditations on the human experience of belonging. The artist pays attention to the body and its relationship to the self, to others, to place, to spirit. Layering photography, with poetry, with video art, with performance, the artist embraces fragmentation and repetition to illustrate the present tensions of new-age African internationalism, identity formation, hyphenated identities.


Kuln’Zus Portraitserie zeigt junge queere Menschen der Kulturszene Nairobis (Kenya), visonäre Held*innen, die in einer kraftvollen kulturellen und künstlerischen Praxis Räume für Sichtbarkeit und Repräsentation schaffen. Die Serie legt einen Fokus auf die Zärtlichkeit des Miteinanders, die Halt gibt und halten kann – zärtliche sich tragende queere Held*innen.



„Unwilting and TenderStill“ ist eine technisch und motivisch vielfältige Erkundung von intimen Räumen, in denen Körper die Beziehung zu sich selbst, dem sie umgebenden Raum, sowie dem*der*den Anderen befragen. Kuln’Zu zeigt Körperkonstellationen, die neue Einheiten, mal harmonisch, spannungsgeladen, aber stets zärtlich formen. Die Serie, so Kuln’Zu „zentriert Zärtlichkeit und Intimität als Widerstand. Vielfältige Interpretationen des Halten und Gehaltenwerdens zirkulieren durch unterschiedliche Techniken wie Fotografie, Fotomontage und Materialcollage“.


Kuln’Zu:„Alle porträtierten Personen sind aktive Teilnehmer*innen der aufkeimenden Kreativszene in Nairobi. In der heutigen Zeit ist der kreative und kulturelle Raum der Ort, an dem queere afrikanische Jugendliche alternative Politik und ihre Visionen für die Zukunft artikulieren können. Durch die Selbstdarstellung und die Darstellung der Community in der bildenden Kunst schaffen wir einen Raum, in dem wir zeigen können, wie wir in der Gegenwart und in der Zukunft gesehen werden wollen. Hier drücken wir die Formen und Modi aus, in denen wir gehalten werden wollen, die Art und Weise, wie wir Gemeinschaft und Netzwerke aufbauen.“



Kuln’Zu ist ein*e in Nairobi lebende*r, in Mosambik geborene*r, multidisziplinäre*r Künstler*in, die*der in den Bereichen Fotografie, Video und Poesie arbeitet. Kuln’Zu schafft multimediale und vielschichtige Meditationen über die menschliche Erfahrung von Zugehörigkeit. Die*Der Künstler*in richtet ihre*seine Aufmerksamkeit auf den Körper und seine*ihre Beziehung zu sich selbst, zu anderen, zum Ort und zum Geist. Indem er*sie Fotografie, Poesie, Videokunst und Performance miteinander verbindet, nutzt er*sie Fragmentierung und Wiederholung, um die gegenwärtigen Spannungen des afrikanischen New-Age-Internationalismus, Identitätsbildung und Bindestrich-Identitäten zu veranschaulichen.

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