An art installation aiming to recreate the uncertainty that followed the 1982 coup in Kenya is set to begin on Thursday, August 24 until September 13. Using the medium of sound, the exhibition dubbed ‘Amplitudes of Dawn’ will host an event to officially open the showcase at the Goethe Institut from 6 PM.

About the attempted coup

Channel 1

Shortly after midnight on August 1, 1982, a troop of soldiers from the Kenya Air Force stormed the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) headquarters (then Voice of Kenya at Broadcasting House Nairobi). They held radio announcers at gunpoint and forced them to read a statement, first in Swahili and then in English, announcing the government of President Daniel Arap Moi had been overturned.

Taking the above radio announcement as a departure point, ‘Amplitudes of Dawn’ anchors its explorations in and around sound; its rhythms, pauses and silences. The exhibition features work by Cyrus Kaniru, Onyis Martin and Antony Muisyo, and sound work by Kamwangi Njue and Raphael Kariuki.

Speaking about using the medium of sound, the exhibitors said, “we are inviting Kenyans to step into these hours of uncertainty and contemplate the existence and possibilities presented by this new reality. From silence into static ~ through the coup announcement, Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, conversations, sound recordings, a radio play, WhatsApp voice messages, and a live Twitter Space, the artists offer an attempt to create a new temporality and imagine what could have been.”

The exhibition will also feature a free series of public programs.

The project is a collaboration with Down River Road – an online and print journal that publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and ideas co-founded by Frankline Sunday and Clifton Gachagua – Magic Door – an experimental imprint cultivating wonder through deliberate conversation and collaboration co-founded by Roseline Olang’ Odhiambo and Alexis Teyie and Goethe Institut’s Sasa Nairobi Exhibition series.

Entry is free.

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