Body Mapping is inspired by the Memory Tool method and helps participants look at past and present experiences to project future actions. The project “Who I Am, Who We Are” has created an exceptional opportunity for reflection for a selected numbers of Kenyans with different backgrounds. The process and final result, in the form of life size paintings and narratives, allows for the reflection on questions of choice, freedom, aspirations, identity and diversity. The process is undertaken over a period of 3 – 5 days.

So far, the project has collected over 80 bodymaps from different workshops.

In Nairobi, the project targeted:

two mixed groups (racially, ethnically, socio-economically, by education background and profession)

one group from Mukuru Lunga Lunga (controlling socio-economic background)

one Kenyan of Asian Origin group (controlling race within a culture of exclusion both from the group and to the group)

one Kenyan of Somali Origin group (controlling ethnicity within the global war on terror and ethnic profiling)

one Kenyan of European Origin group (controlling race within a culture of exclusion both from the group and to the group)

a mixed group in the following regions:

  • Nyeri
  • Kisumu
  • Isiolo
  • Lamu

So far, the bodymaps have been exhibited at:

  • The Kenya Cultural Centre
  • Mukuru Lunga Lunga
  • Diamond Plaza
  • Eastleigh
  • Kisumu
  • Isiolo
  • Lamu

Kenya Art Fair 2014 at Sarit Centre

Heinrich Boll Foundation

They will be exhibited in December 2015 – February 2016 at the National Museum of Kenya.
When exhibited in a public space, these paintings act as a mirror for the public thanks to their commonalities and power of identification.

We decided to take this tool to visually and artistically explore the personal experiences of Kenyans from different sexes, races, ethnic groups, socio-economic backgrounds and ages.

We are looking at the following themes:

1. Who are you?

2. What makes you Kenyan?

3. Is there a collective Kenyan identity – if there is, what is it exactly?

Over three days we will look at the individual within the collective and their role in the development of nationalism.

In addition to plotting our present position as Kenyans, we will be looking for similarities and differences that will afford us insight on the creation of a national identity.


Body Mapping (BM) is a creative therapeutic tool that brings together bodily experience and visual artistic expression.  In its basic form it involves drawing (or having drawn) one’s body outline onto a large surface and using colours, pictures, symbols and words to represent experiences lived through the body.


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