Under the title Our House, your Home Stroom invites international organizations to temporarily occupy its exhibition space as an artistic residence, in order to realize a project which they consider most relevant and urgent. In 2020 Stroom invited The Nest Collective to occupy their project space over the Spring and Summer.
The Nest Collective is a multidisciplinary group based in Nairobi, Kenya, aiming to expand their practice towards a material language. They explore troubling modern identities, re-imagine the past and remix the future. In all their works, they prioritize the acknowledgement and stating of different individual perspectives and privileges, and their work strives to convey this dialogue.
Founded in 2012, the Nest Collective has created works in film, music, fashion, visual arts and literature such as the critically-acclaimed queer anthology film Stories of Our Lives, which has so far screened in over 80 countries and won numerous awards, and Tuko Macho—a groundbreaking interactive crime web series widely considered to be one of the best African TV series. The Nest Collective also founded HEVA Fund — Africa's first creative business fund of its kind — to strengthen the livelihoods of East Africa's creative entrepreneurs.
Due to the pandemic, our guests have not been able to travel to The Hague yet. Therefore we are experimenting with the format of a hybrid residency. We asked ourselves what is an artistic residency? What infrastructure can Stroom offer to its guests? How can we learn together and collaborate over a distance? How to engage our guests with the local creative community of The Hague? These questions are being exercised in a weekly basis.
Three artists from The Nest Collective – Jim Chuchu, Sunny Dolat and Njoki Ngumi – have been working from Nairobi since September 2020, researching textiles as a medium. Their proposal spans from the craftsmanship aspect (weaving traditional and new technologies; alternative dyes and modern printing techniques), to designing new rituals that tap into indigenous spiritualities that have been suppressed by colonial forces; to the development of a new textile culture for future Kenyan generations. Stroom will facilitate their process connecting with third parties and local artists. The project will include field trips, artists meetings and possibly experiments at textile workshops in the Netherlands. The artists aim at finding contemporary approaches that speak to their public, with a focus on the queer community, and they wish to reach their local market with affordable prices.
The Nest artists share their research process by video calls and email. In these online meetings they also receive guests and meet different staff members of Stroom. The culmination of the project will be the three artists coming for the physical residency period of four weeks in The Hague, between May and June 2021. However we still depend on the public health measures to be able to plan their project in The Hague. Next steps include connecting The Nest to other artists, activists, human rights lawyers based in the Netherlands to exchange visions and practices with regards to human rights with a focus on the queer community; printing textile samples of their own patterns at House of U, Rotterdam, assessing technologies available in the Netherlands; among other potential manifestations of their project in The Netherlands. We hope to be able to resume their residency in The Hague, and benefit from the mutual learning process. This project is supported by Prins Claus Funds.
Visit also The Nest Collective on: thisisthenest.com