Miriam Syowia Kyambi and James Muriuki
Image: Pata Picha Studio Photograph, 2012. One of a series of
portraits taken in Kilifi, Kenya. By Miriam Syowia Kyambi and James
Miriam and James are multimedia artists based
in Nairobi. Much of Miriam’s work interrogates and questions
notions of perception and memory, while James is drawn to exploring
transitions in the social landscape. They are both interested in
understanding the connections between personal and communal
While in residence, Miriam and James worked in
collaboration to investigate how health researchers and the
involved community depend on and perceive one another. What happens
when different values, ethics and belief systems come into contact?
Can these differences be negotiated?
One of the outcomes of their residency was the
Pata Picha Photo Studio. ‘Pata Picha’ means ‘get the
picture’ in Swahili. People in Kilifi town were invited to have
their portraits taken alongside various props. These props were
chosen for their connection with major themes identified as
influencing research: education, beliefs, context, exploration,
money and power.
Research centre: KEMRI–Wellcome Trust Research
Programme, Kilifi, Kenya