Ogutu Muraya is a writer and theatre maker with a body of work rooted in the practice of orature. In his work, he explores new forms of storytelling, seeking to merge socio-political aspects with the belief that art can challenge certainties.
Last year, something snapped in the Kenyan performance artist Ogutu Muraya, who at the time was living in Amsterdam. He decided to stop applying for European visas and return to Nairobi. His decision was motivated by a desire to ‘go beyond Europe’, to free his imagination, to transcend internal limits rather than merely trying to cross physical borders. In this text, he tells us how he intends to continue his artistic practice and maintain his presence – but strictly on his own terms.
In August of 2014, artist, writer and storyteller Ogutu Muraya moved from Nairobi to Amsterdam to begin a Master’s degree in Theatre at the Academy of Theatre and Dance. During his stay in the Netherlands, both as a student and a graduate, he started a practice of writing at least 200 words a day. He was not always successful in reaching his target, but he maintained the practice periodically and plans to keep it going until he moves out of Amsterdam, back to Nairobi, on July 5th 2019, when his current residency permit expires. This exercise started as a way to map and locate his inner self against an unfamiliar backdrop and over time grew into a personal archive with over 150,000 words. Muraya is in the process now of returning to this archive with the aim of reconstructing the texts into a kind of fragmented memoir essay where he seeks to understand the challenges of his diaspora experience.