AMONG OTHER THINGS, I’VE TAKEN UP SMOKING TENT
Representation - Alex Mawimbi (2014)
‘Representation’ is an installation artwork done by Kenyan visual artist Alex Mawimbi in 2014. The work is comprised with 12 photographs of her face painted a rainbow flag which represents LGBTQ+ movements globally. The 12 photographs shows Mawimbi rubbing the rainbow flag out from her face gradually which seems to erase the flag and remove boundaries of the each colors. From her personal experience in Kenya where homosexuality is still banned, Mawimbi thought this flag is not as inclusive and representational for herself. Mawimbi found it is difficult to identify with the flag while she was dealing with issues of her own personal safety and security. This piece questions whether an African woman who has same-sex desires is automatically identifiable with the word “lesbian” or with the international LGBT community.