EXPLORE: Cyrus Kabiru

Note to Teachers: 
Content that may be challenging or too mature for younger viewers is marked with an asterisk (*). Please scan all material to determine whether it is appropriate for your students. 

Kabiru highlights the importance of his eyewear. He says his intention is to give trash a second chance, emphasizing on the fact that none of his glasses have lenses because their intention is not to see well/clear but rather to see a difference.

- Kenyan Artist Cyrus Kabiru’s presence in Verona (2020, May)  Kedita

Cyrus Kabiru

 

Cyrus Kabiru sees the value of trash to make things, to tell his own stories, and as a way to envision new perspectives . He collects trash from the countries he travels to and uses it in combination so the work is not an artform from one country or continent but a hybridity of us all by combining our trash.  How can we save nature by combining our trash?

 

Social Media

Instagram

 

Websites and Video

A video featuring Cyrus Kabiru with Osborne Macharia and comic artists Ayodeji Makinde seen through the aesthetic of Afrofuturism.

 

This is Colossal has images of different C Stunners (sculptural glasses from trash) and a short description of the work .Colossal is a international digital platform for contemporary art

 

This issue of Nataal features images of the Black Mamba Bicycle series-Transformed inoperable bicycles into sculptures using trash as a medium . Black Mamba bikes were traditionally used as a primary mode of transportation in Kenya.  Nataal is a brand, creative studio ,and magazine  promoting diverse stories  around fashion, visual arts and music from   African countries.

 

SMAC gallery site features images of Kabiru’s transformed eyeglasses , bikes, and radios and short reflective essays. SMAC is a contemporary  gallery with locations in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Stellenbosch, South Africa. 

 

Artist's Video

 

A short film by Cyrus Kabiru questioning the future of the traditional bicycle as the Black Mamba is replaced by Chinese motor bikes.

 

 

Interviews and Artists Talks

Kabiru demonstrates making art from discarded computers and other electronics.

 

This short video shows Kabiru’s studio and his purposes using trash from around the world to make art.

 

This in-depth panel discussion from artists, and writers from around the world discusses the role of the arts globally , the role of history ,and envisioning the future world reconfigured differently.   Cyrus Kabiru talks at the following time stamps: 3:10; 21:10; 39:26; 53:05

 

 

 

 

Topic for Further Inquiry

 

Afrofuturism

Afrofuturism is a term describing aesthetic philosophies and artworks that  combine the cultural heritages from the African diaspora with myth, fantasy, science fiction, technology, and history.  

 

Many artists and artworks have identified with or been associated with AfroFuturism including writer Octavia Butler, jazz musician Sun Ra, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the  Marvel film Black Panther

 

Resources for Afrofuturism Curricula

Acuff, J.B. (2020) Afrofuturism Reimagining Art Curricula for Black Existence, Art Education, 73-3, 13-21.pdf

Joni Boyd Acuff applies Afrofuturism to art educational curricula, referring to artists Mickalene Thomas, Max Lomez, Stephen Hamilton ,and prioritizing craft as an artform.

 

Marla McClean (2021)  Early childhood art inspired by Cyrus Kabiru's Afrofuturist C-StunnersD.C Area Educators for Social Justice.

 

 

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/a/afrofuturism