Swahili Box Arts launch

Participants at the SwahiliBox Arts launch

SwahiliBox the Technology Open Space in Mombasa, Kenya which focuses on socio-economic technology empowerment has been launched. The initiative is geared towards the propagation of arts, heritage and culture within Mombasa and Coastal Kenya, by means of using technology as a tool. This initiative will encapsulate various key players and artists in the arts and heritage sector.

This will therefore include also bloggers, poets, spoken word artists, writers, amongst others. SwahiliBox is working with Fikirah Teule, a Mombasa based hip hop artist to create a working digitization framework for artists for the days to come.

Swahili box arts initiative is motivated by the wealth in Mombasa and the Coast of Heritage and Culture, and the fact that there are no initiatives standing to propagate this gem.

Participants at the SwahiliBox Arts launch

Participants at the SwahiliBox Arts launch

The agenda during the launch was to get the relevant people together, and talk about the framework, this was rolled out in the form of “cocktail”, where performances were mixed up with speeches and talks.

Dancers, musicians, poets, photographers and other artists graced the occasion, and entertained the participants at an iconic location facing the Indian Ocean. It was a gathering of some of the most talented people in Mombasa and hopefully the start of an initiative that will benefit them.

According to Jamila, a Mombasa based blogger

“It will be a great platform for artists to digitize their work to reach a wider audience. There are many online channels that can be utilized the right way for the artist to showcase their work. This will bring more recognition for coast artists.”

This is a brilliant idea that will really go a long way in developing and growing the coastal art scene. It is a unique opportunity for Coast-based artistes to make a collective effort at promoting their own. With provision of a conducive environment at the Swahili Center, and resources such as high speed Internet access will help accelerate/increase the distribution of artistes’ works.

“If handled well, this has the potential of causing an interruption in the ways art and talent is disseminated and appreciated/consumed. It would be prudent, however, if the initiative also looked at helping the artistes form SACCOs as well as handling issues of intellectual property rights,” added Ese.

Swahili Box Arts will enable artistes reach a wider audience as they promote arts and culture. This initiative will change the scene for the better and create opportunities for lots of people. Working with partners from here and beyond, Swahili Box Arts will grow as a platform whose impact will be felt in East Africa.