Ogutu Muraya (Nairobi)

entrance € 12,00 | reduced € 6,00

Artist talk after the performance on Oct 30th, moderated by Jonathan Fischer

In English

  • Rollstuhlgerecht
  • Induktive Höranlage

As Ogutu Muraya moves from Nairobi to Amsterdam in 2014 to begin his Master’s studies, he starts keeping a diary. What starts as an exercise to map and locate his inner self against an unfamiliar backdrop grows into a complex personal archive over the years. Muraya's stay in the Netherlands turns out to be, as he says “beautiful, complex and painful – an amalgam of paradoxical experiences”. Back in Nairobi now, he is in the process of turning his ever expanding diary into a kind of fragmented memoir where he seeks to understand the challenges of his diaspora experience. ON THIN ICE is a performance reading of an excerpt from this ongoing book project.



Instead of reading himself Ogutu Muraya will send the Brusseles based performer Quinsy Dario to read his text. This summer Muraya, who lives in Nairobi, decided to reject the Schengen system. With this statement he describes why he doesn't travel to Europe. 


Statement Ogutu Muraya


«There is no easy way of saying this without seeming self- righteous or morally superior. So let me emphasize that my decision is not to say that I am a better person. Or throw shade or shame at anyone who is brave enough to stay with the visa trouble. It is to say that it became difficult, a real challenge for me to convince myself to go through with this periodic process of justifying my existence in order to gain temporary approval from a system that is undeniably discriminatory. A system whose biases and filters disproportionately affect people of color. (...)  I give away my residency permit and accept that according to the system I am now an alien.
This is the situation, the struggle for equality of mobility in this globalizing world has always been there will always continue. And yes there exists in international relations the doctrine of reciprocity - I will do unto your citizens what you do unto our citizens - but this doctrine is seriously flawed and does not begin to address the massive inequalities, if anything it makes things worse. And yes the struggle for freedom of mobility is intricately connected to other struggles for equality, but some of these emancipatory processes have more urgency than freedom of mobility, especially in situations where violence is being performed in direct and indirect ways.
My mind is clear but my body is stuck in this timeline - a timeline where the greater ‘we’ continues to allow the unnecessary deaths of people trying to cross real and abstract borders – however they manifest.»

Lecture Performance   Storytelling   Migration and Refuge  

Read more:

Written by Ogutu Muraya Read by Quinsy Gario

Ogutu Muraya is a writer and theater maker whose work is embedded in the practice of Orature. He studied International Relations at USIU-Africa in Nairobi and graduated in 2016 with a Master in Arts at DAS Theatre in Amsterdam. His performative works and storytelling have featured in several theatres and festivals across different countries.


Quinsy Gario is a visual and performance artist from the Dutch Caribbean. His most well-known work, ZWARTE PIET IS RACISME (2011–2012), critiqued the general knowledge surrounding the racist Dutch figure and practice of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), later bringing into the open the governmental institu tional support that keeps the figure alive in the Netherlands. He has an academic background in gender studies and postcolonial studies and is a graduate of the Master Artistic Research program at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. In 2017 he received a Humanity in Action Detroit Fellowship. Gario is a board member of De Appel, Keti Koti Table, and The One Minutes, a member of the pan-African artist collective State of L3, and is a recurring participant of the Black Europe Body Politics biannual conference series.

Supported by Veem House for Performance Realization in cooperation with Goethe-Institut