UPD: The Mural created by Young Mothers and Graffiti Girls has won a Special Award at the art competition by the Digital Art for Climate (DA4C). To see this and other climate artists’ artworks, please visit the Initiative’s website www.digitalart4climate.space.
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October 2021, Nairobi, Kenya. – 7th October 2021, in Mathare, one of the biggest slums of Nairobi, Mlango Kubwa Young Mothers Group, which is composed of young women of 17-24 years of age, took on the opportunity to participate in a training session on how to create murals that convey the message and inspire locals to take action. Co-organized by UN-Habitat, community-based youth-led Mathare Environmental Conservation Youth Group (M.E.C.Y.G) and the group of local artists Graffiti Girls Kenya, the training took Young Mothers through art and craft of muralling and how street art can become a medium of raising their voices on the challenges they face or their aspirations about what they would like to improve in their community.
Before embarking on their creative task, the participants held a brainstorming session, in which they identified the most pressing issues pertaining to the community. Such topics as climate change, police brutality, lack of awareness about COVID-19, gender-based violence and insufficiently empowered youth scored the most among the participants as problems to focus on.
The training then moved into the second session, in which Young Mothers, under the guidance of Graffiti Kenya Girls’ team, began working on the mural at the Slum Soccer pitch grounds in Mlango Kubwa, Mathare. From the brainstorming session, the young mothers chose to depict a greener, more sustainable future, where zero emissions energy is sourced from wind and the sun, thus advocating for #Climate4Change. Magic started with outlining the composition of the mural, followed by taking Young Mothers through on the different contents featured on the mural. After all the details were settled, they began painting.
By end of a day, the mural stands completed, telling the story of a young woman sending a paper plane conveying the message on the need of using green energy, to build forward towards a greener future. To light up the city, there are solar panels and windmills up and running, generating emission-free energy. If these sources of energy are prioritised, narrates the mural, further pollution will be avoided and the community area will flourish and the environment will prosper.
Digital Art for Climate (DA4C) is a multi-stakeholder initiative which uses blockchain technology to turn art into digital assets, also known as NFTs, which can be collected and traded, thus opening up a socio-technological innovation space which helps to unlock extraordinary potential for resource mobilization in support of Sustainable Development Goals and UN Agenda 2030 implementation in general and action for climate empowerment in particular.
The DigitalArt4Climate Art Competition, organized by IAAI GloCha in collaboration with the UN-Habitat Youth, wants to inspire and promote climate action through the power of culture and technology and empower the uptake of digital innovation by the creative community in an accessible and meaningful way (more information here). The Art Competition Winners Celebration will be held in the context of the UN Climate Conference COP26, 11 November 2021, Glasgow, UK (virtual and physical event).