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