According to Wikipedia, scribbling, scratching or painting of writings or drawings (albeit sometimes illegal), is the definition of Graffiti. Often within public view, Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. These have existed since the ancient times.
In Kenya, there’s a lot of Mural Graffiti, on walls in the street. I featured The Railways Museum Graffiti on here. Great artists have come up, showcasing their immense talent and skill. These include The BSQ Crew, Smokillah, Swift9, Bankslave among others.
There is a huge gender gap in artists who practice graffiti: women are fewer. Douglas Kihiko, aka Smokillah saw this disparity and decided to found Graffiti Girls Kenya.
Graffiti Girls Kenya
Graffiti Girls Kenya is a movement and vision to see women empowered through developing their artistic craft. Their main aim is to emancipate women through their pursuit in becoming professional graffiti artists who express themselves with the spray can.
Their artwork mostly depict social issues affecting women, for example, gender based violence, early marriages, rape among others.
Through their workshops and seminars, Graffiti Girls Kenya not only allows a platform of expression, but also helps bring a whole other flavor to the Kenyan graffiti scene. The social issues are addressed from the women’s perspective, which makes it more authentic. They use Graffiti to challenge themselves and break down stereotypes that surround the stigma of graffiti.
Graffiti Girls Events
With partnerships, Graffiti Girls Kenya hosts several Female Oriented events. They target young ladies between the ages of 18-25, who gather to discuss major issues affecting women. The girls meet weekly to create art and discuss around issues that would otherwise not be listened to. Moreover, they use this time to connect with other artists in places like Pawa254 and The Creatives Garage.
They have been featured in several platforms, like NowThis.
Follow them on Instagram. Scroll through for some of the photos from their Facebook Page.