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Kenyaa Mzee Steps Into “A New Era”

 Kenyaa Mzee Steps Into “A New Era”

After years in the creative industry, visual artist  Kenyaa Mzee, is re-introducing herself with a new photoshoot titled “A New Era”.

Cape Town-based visual artist, Kenyaa Mzee, is re-introducing and repositioning herself in the creative sphere as a Writer, Visual Artist, Designer and now full-time Film and Visual Critic with a rather grand photoshoot.
Coming back from representing South Africa as it’s ambassador at Art Connects Women, the worlds largest female arts exhibition hosted in Dubai, as well as other previous exhibitions both local and international, she thought it be the right time to orchestrate her next move in the world of visuals, arts and culture and design.
Shot at Roche Bobois, an international high-end interiors and furniture store in Kloof Street in Cape Town,  “A New Era” sees Mzee refining her art and going full-time into film critiquing, a culture she feels lacks in South Africa.
Mzee said: “I produced and creatively directed this shoot myself with support and guidance of my beloved creative partner and friend, Vicky Sheelongo who has helped me flesh out my ideas since the beginning and Mekaynen Vassen my one and only make up artist, made me feel like a regal artist-queen in the flesh.
“A New Era serves as a conversation around why the arts are so important: design, film and visual arts, my natural transition and elevation in the creative industry as well as how it all aligns.”

Mzee believes that the art of filmmaking and visual storytelling in general helps not only with the minds need or want for escapism and relaxation every so often, but it also plays a key part in communicating and perpetuating the most simplistic of messages to the worlds most complex ideas and emotions.

With this being said, she believes that a culture of understanding films and visual literature can boost the audiences experience with the work they are interacting with.

Critiquing/analyzing can also assist in sparking larger conversations and even help highlight or put an end to discriminatory dynamics and perpetuated stereotypes within film and storytelling, that help shape and maintain the world we live in today.

She said: “As much as I love a great piece of cinematography or a brilliant performance by an actor/actress, I think it is important to also talk about (for example) why our black love interests are almost always light of complexion and seemingly Bi-racial while the darker skinned are given the task of being the supporting act (let’s not even talk about the “funny fat friend” stereotype for comedic relief, as if plus sized actors can never find love), or why friendships between boys or girls in a film need a romantic sub-story, as if we cannot coexist with one another without the need to explore a romantic relationship, ever.

“There is a lot of messy messaging within film. I want to talk about that too as well as praise great work or give a different perspective, like why the “bad film” is actually brilliant.”

Mzee lamented the hyper-importance placed on glamorizing and commercializing creativity and how it is slowing down the production of great work reaching the masses, because (to her) it has over the passed few years become more about being known as a creative and who you know, than the artwork itself or the content produced.

“I have had countless conversations with fellow creatives regarding this peculiar and particularly upsetting phenomenon. Here, creativity in the mainstream circles is suffering we all agreed,” concluded Mzee.

See more of Kenyaa’s work here.

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Ray Maota