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Alliance Française celebrates Kiswahili Language Day with cultural film screenings

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The institution has organised several events, including the screening of two award-winning Tanzanian films and a multimedia exhibition. The screenings will take place on July 15, 2024.

Kenyans have been invited to the Alliance Française of Nairobi to watch cultural films as the world continues to celebrate Kiswahili Language Day.

The institution has organised several events, including the screening of two award-winning Tanzanian films and a multimedia exhibition. The screenings will take place on July 15, 2024.

Among the films which will be showcased include “T-Junction” a first feature film by Amir Shivji. The film was awarded the Best Feature Film prize at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in 2017.

The drama film tells the poignant story of Fatima, who, after the death of her estranged father, forms an unexpected bond with Maria, a hospital patient. Bound by their shared pain, Fatima repeatedly seeks Maria's tale of the T-junction, where she finds both love and loss.

The institution will also showcase "Eonii” by Eddie Mzale, which won the best film award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in 2023.

Eonii is a film set in 2061, which explores a scientist's revolutionary discovery that promises to save the continent. As dark forces emerge, lies, betrayal, politics, and war ensue, all revolving around the control of Eonii's power.

In addition to the film screenings, the Alliance Française will feature the "Portraits of WaSwahili" exhibition, an immersive multimedia experience celebrating the Swahili people of Eastern Africa.

Created by Lionel Lauret, an artist from Reunion Island, the exhibition blends visual art with music by the Mombasa-based taarab band Lelele Africa, led by Mbarak Ali-Haji.

Lauret's artwork, inspired by his piece “Le Peuple Infini,” retraces the diverse origins and cultures of the inhabitants of Reunion Island.

Developed in partnership with the National Museums of Kenya’s Heritage Training Institute, the exhibition portrays the rich history of the Swahili people through a fusion of historical images and traditional music.

On July 16, the institution will host the launch of the book “Mvita: History of Mombasa 12th Century – 2012,” the third instalment in the “History of Kenyan Cities and Towns” series by Professors Bethwell Ogot and Madara Ogot.

The book chronicles the evolution of Mombasa from its early Swahili settlement days to its modern status as Mombasa County.

“This book brings to life the city's narrative of violent conquest, colonisation, and post-independence challenges and successes,” says Prof. Tom Odhiambo, who will moderate the discussion.

The festivities will also culminate with a celebration of popular Swahili Taarab music from Lamu, creatively reimagined through modern arrangements in collaboration with guitarist/composer Eddie Grey.

“Come dance to popular Swahili Taarab music with An Noor Band and guitarist/composer Eddie Grey,” the Institution announced.

Founded in 1949, the Alliance Française in Nairobi has evolved into one of Africa's largest institutions, annually providing French language courses to thousands of students.

It offers a structured curriculum that enables students to achieve personal and professional goals, serving as Kenya's sole accredited institution for international French language certification and certified translations.

The Alliance Française also promotes a dynamic calendar of events each year, fostering local and international arts and nurturing creativity.

It actively supports the production and exhibition of artistic works across various disciplines, reflecting the diverse facets and dialogues of contemporary society.

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