Afrika Handmade will create visibility for contemporary craft and design in Kenya – find out more about the event

Afrika Handmade will create visibility for contemporary craft and design in Kenya - find our more about the event

We want to take this opportunity to highlight an upcoming event that will truly define and provide a platform for growth for the craft market in Kenya. When we hear about craft, its easy to think of maasai market and associate it with mass produced, cheap trinkets and souvenirs. However, the Afrika Handmade Symposium fosucing on contemporary craft and design will shed more light on the real craft market and existing brands.

Afrika Handmade will create visibility for contemporary craft and design in Kenya - find our more about the event

Savannah Chic

While the maasai market is indeed a part of the craft sector, there has been the emergence of a new craft –  a contemporary genre that challenges the narrow definition associated with the market scenario. This genre employs skilled craftsmanship- combining distinctly African elements with modern design trends to create items that are innovative, unique and that answer to global market demands.  Afrika Handmade aims to put this exciting new genre on a pedestal.

Afrika Handmade is a 2day symposium focusing on the contemporary craft and design sector in Kenya slated for 2nd and 3rd October 2014 at the Jacaranda Hotel in Westlands. The symposium is a market development initiative that is expected to generate greater visibility for the contemporary craft and design sector while opening up new market opportunities, especially within Kenya’s growing middle class.

Afrika Handmade will create visibility for contemporary craft and design in Kenya - find our more about the event

Njee Muturi

Craft Afrika is looking to create the most informative, dynamic and engaging event of the year for the craft & design sector. They want to create an opportunity for you to interact with some of the biggest and most influential players in Kenya’s and by large Africa’s contemporary craft & design space.

Through panel presentations, mini workshops, open spaces and  one-on-one mentorship sessions, a diverse number of speakers will engage on a wide range of topics including how to tap into domestic and regional markets, impacting communities through social enterprise, current market trends, copyright and much more. Equally important are the social networking events planned each end of day. Featuring some of Kenya’s best live performances, these informal sessions will undoubtedly be a hit!

Afrika Handmade will create visibility for contemporary craft and design in Kenya - find our more about the event

Bush Princess

We took the opportunity to ask them a few questions.

How would the symposium assist in opening up new market opportunities? 
What is the best way to make an issue the issue? Its by consistently talking about using strategic advocacy tools/avenues. The symposium is just one of the tools that we are using to generate awareness and interest about a genre that seems overlooked due to the traditional narrative of crafts as being confined to open air markets, with no product differentiation and therefore low value perception.
You stated that the main objective of the symposium is to “create visibility for contemporary craft and design, thereby opening up new market opportunities while strengthening existing ones” Explain that for us.
Through the various formal and informal surveys we have carried out, we have come to the conclusion that there is a glaring lack of knowledge regarding the more sophisticated and design-led genre of craft- precisely because of the ubiquitous maasai market. The idea is to start creating interest in this genre while at the same time creating markets.
Is this the first of its kind?
This is the first although we are looking at it as a long term initiative because it will take some time before we can start to see the markets we are targeting opening up. Working alongside other stakeholders- including media-both mainstream and alternative, academia and other festivals including FAFA, we hope to make it  both cool and lucrative to be Kenyan made.
Take a look at this article for a snippet on the Craft Afrika selection of the Best 20 Contemporary Craft and Design Brands. Click here: “The Best of 20: Kenya’s Contemporary Craft and Design Brands.”
Afrika Handmade will create visibility for contemporary craft and design in Kenya - find our more about the event

AfroDutch Paperstone

For more information:
Telephone: +254 732 982226
Email: craft@craftafrika.org
Facebook: Craft Afrika
Twitter: @CraftAfrika
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