Nairobi Design Week 2023 exhibitors demonstrated the importance of mental health, recognizing that everyone is made of many parts, and they are all welcome to play and create.
Freemind Sessions had a workshop facilitated by Safia Abji and Shiko Onyango and covered issues around trauma and how it manifests in our bodies including how certain experiences can help artists overcome the difficulties they face when building a business. Participants were able to explore their creative and shadow parts by making a symbolic art piece using beads.
Sekoya East Africa exhibited their Uhai Collection, an ensemble of handmade products for personal mental health care. The collection was curated with uplifting word-themes and colours to enable users find timely reminders of the worthiness in their life. Through this collection, Sekoya raises awareness on the need for intentional mental health care and how craft and design is a useful tool in providing this.
Style Tech exhibited their collection of hand-knitted pieces designed and made during a time when Teshie the designer, was struggling with mental health. Through her collections, she engaged visitors telling the story of her experiences as a black, Pan-African woman navigating life in her 20s.
Samora Katumanga exhibited his project that uses digital design tools to engage the youth on mental health awareness especially among Gen Z, emphasizing how we must create safe spaces where individuals can share their struggles and triumphs, knowing they won't be judged but heard and understood.
Inkspace Bureau premiered an interactive video production that involves a conversation between the participant and an avatar goat made using cutout stop-motion whos on a journey of mental health and self-awareness, read all about it here