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I Want You To Know

An agreement between the Italian Cultural Institute in Nairobi, the Nairobi office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, the international photography festival Cortona On The Move and WeWorld has resulted in the exhibition “I Want You to Know” by photographer and video maker Gaia Squarci.
During her artistic residency in Kenya, organised thanks to IIC Nairobi and Cortona On The Move, Gaia explored the territory and met with the communities of Nairobi and Narok in search of stories of resilient women and sustainability.
Her images, along with those of five talented young photographers (Alphonce Oluoch, Ruth Mutinda, Jamal Gooddisa, Catherine Kabiru and Kelcy Nyaga) she trained during a workshop at the Mwelu Foundation, are on display in an exhibition at the University of Nairobi Tower from 24 November to 3 December, during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.
I Want You to Know, the title of the exhibition curated by Cortona On The Move, is a tribute to the Kenyan poet and human rights activist Micere Githae Mugo, who died earlier this year.

Gaia Squarci

Gaia Squarci is a photographer and videographer who divides her time between Milan and New York, where she teaches Digital Storytelling at ICP. With a background in Art History and Photojournalism, she leans toward a personal approach that moves away from the descriptive narrative tradition in documentary photography and video. Gaia is a National Geographic grantee and her project “Ashes and Autumn Flowers” was nominated for the Prix Pictet in 2020 and the Leica Oskar Barnack award in 2022. Clients include the New York Times, the New Yorker, Internazionale, D di Repubblica, Marie Claire Italia, among others.

The partners of the project


Italian Institute of Culture (IIC)
The Italian cultural institutes are the offices of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation that deal with the promotion of the Italian language and culture in the world. The Italian Cultural Institute of Nairobi was founded in 1971 and over the years it has become a catalyst of cultural and academic initiatives and a reference point for the people interested in our country. Every year the Institute organizes Italian language courses and certification, many cultural events and initiatives also in partnership with different Kenyan institutions.
Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS)
The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (Aics) is the Italian governmental Agency performing the technical and operational activities required to implement international cooperation initiatives. Its headquarters are in Rome and Florence, while 18 field offices worldwide are tasked with assessing local needs, implementing development initiatives, monitoring results and building local partnerships.
The Regional Office of Aics in Nairobi operates in Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

WeWorld is an independent organization working in development cooperation and humanitarian aid for over 50 years, active today in 27 countries. WeWorld works in 165 projects reaching over 10 million direct beneficiaries and 54 million indirect beneficiaries. Children, women and youth, actors of change in every community, are the protagonists of WeWorld projects and campaigns in the following fields of intervention: human rights (gender equality, prevention and contrast of violence against women and children, migrations), humanitarian aid (prevention, aid and rehabilitation), food security, water and sanitation, health, education and learning, socio-economic development, environmental protection, strengthening of local civil society organizations, global citizenship education and international volunteering.

Mwelu Foundation
The Mwelu Foundation is a registered Trust founded in 2007. We are working with a group of approximately 80 ambitious, positive and talented young people to help them realize their potential through photography, film production and the building of life skills. The young members are fitted in two different programs. One is for the children up to 17 years old and the other is for young adults up to 25 years old. The Mwelu Foundation was founded by born-and-raised Mathare resident Julius Mwelu. Julius continues to run the organization as a member of the board. With help from local people who are determined to make a positive change within their own community the foundation wants to achieve the goal of a better future and building up the local youth for a bright future.