The I AM KENYAN project is a global initiative whose roots lie in Kenya. The project aims to promote peace and patriotism primarily through photography.
On December 31st 2007, the results of the Kenyan presidential elections sparked tribal clashes. The severity of the Kenyan 2007 post-election violence intensified in the 59 days that followed, and by the 28th of February 2008, there were 1500 deaths and over 600,000 Internally displaced persons. Although the immediacy and timing of these clashes can be blamed on the irregularities in the election results, tribal tension can be traced through history where inter-ethnic struggles have stemmed largely from the ethnicization of politics.
To this date, the ethnicization of politics is still being used as a campaigning strategy by a vast majority of Kenyan politicians. As the country approaches the 2013 election year, there is growing concern that this campaign strategy will lead to yet another post-election violence. With the volatile state of the country during this period, Kenya cannot afford further ethnic division at the expense of political gain. Therein lies the need to remind the Kenyan nationals that before they identify themselves by their ethnic groups, they need to identify themselves, and each other, as Kenyan.
Responding to the need above is the I AM KENYAN project. The I AM KENYAN project is a globally backed, Kenyan driven, awareness campaign that uses photography as a platform to promote peace during the upcoming Kenyan elections in 2013. Photography is a powerful story teller and when Kenyans, both locally and in the Diaspora, come together to tell of and confirm their identity through this powerful platform, a strong message is sent to the Kenyan public encouraging them to see themselves as Kenyans before identifying themselves ethnically.
Individuals who are willing to participate, are requested to take a photo of themselves on a plain background with the words "I AM KENYAN" written in any language anywhere in the picture making a funny, happy or silly face. Each participant is encouraged to be creative. The I AM KENYAN project is not limited to only Kenyans, but is open to persons from other nationalities. This show of solidarity will largely be a means to asserting our identity as human beings despite our different places of origin; we are citizens of the world despite our individual uniqueness. Getting this message to Kenyans across the country prior to the elections would be greatly helpful in preventing the "us" and "them" mentality that was adopted four years ago.
If one sends in their picture to the "I AM KENYAN" project as a contribution to promoting peace in Kenya, they are consenting to the use of their photo for the "I AM KENYAN " project; this picture may also be used, posted or displayed in websites, social media or publications that are aimed at promoting peace in Kenya.
After collecting the photos, they will be blown to black and white 2mX3m posters that will be plastered on public walls in urban areas, rural areas and Internally Displaced Persons camps across the country. This will be done through public marches that will be followed by concerts and a public display of the photos.
The initiative is a continuous process that aims to continue spreading its message of peace by launching school clubs and youth forums.
One sending in their picture to the "I AM KENYAN" project is a contribution to promoting peace in Kenya, therefore you are consenting "I AM KENYAN" to the use your photo for the "I AM KENYAN " project. The "I AM KENYAN" project reserves all rights to use images for awareness, display, publication, or other purposes.
The I AM KENYAN project also allows you to participate NOW by taking your Picture using your computer. Click on the below link to start.