MFA candidate Ato Malinda will perform her thesis work Mshoga Mpya, 2014 at the opening ceremony for Dak’Art 2014 on May 9.
In Mshoga Mpya one audience member at a time enters a small, enclosed cubicle in which they encounter the artist. Dressed androgynously in gender neutral clothing with a small Afro wig upon her head, Malinda recounts stories she collected from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Nairobi. During the obscured face-to-face encounter, the artist simultaneously publicizes and conceals the stories. With half of her face painted in colors of the rainbow, a symbol of LGBT pride since the 1970s, Malinda gives voice to and respects the perils faced by non-heterosexual individuals living in a society in which their identities are considered taboo.
Born in 1981, Malinda grew up between the Netherlands, Kenya and the United States. She studied Art History and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas at Austin while developing an artistic practice that includes performance, painting, drawing, installation, video and independently curating exhibitions. She has exhibited worldwide including at Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK), Berlin; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; Salon Urbain de Douala, Douala, Cameroon; and the Karen Blixen Museum, Copenhagen.