Kenya’s Graffiti Girls are making waves in the country’s art scene by visualizing civic issues that are impacting their community.
The Spray Uzi graffiti group was formed in Nairobi in 2002 and now, their work can be found globally. Douglas Smoki kihiko is a member of Spray Uzi crew founded in 2008. He created the Graffiti Girls Kenya initiative in 2015 for Kenyan women to learn the impact of advocacy through graffiti art. This is a growing community of women who are using the street art form to illustrate their most important ideologies.
The #girlsandgraffitiworkshop is taking off and oftentimes, Kenyan women will partner with other Mombasa-based artists to create stunning wall art. The murals highlight themes of controversy, equality, and cultural awareness that uplift the artistic spirit of the artists who put these urban art projects together.
The group’s most recent art installation showcased visuals relating to climate change. The environmentalist workshop was organized by the local Kenyan Mathare Environmental Conservation Youth group. Through these public showcases and conversations, this community of artists is advocating and creating art simultaneously.
In 2020, young Kenyan graffiti artists were even using their artistic expression to highlight the effects of the pandemic and the spread of the coronavirus. Some of these locals were children and kids who would group together to create fun images that relate to their recent experiences. The Graffiti Girls Kenya initiative was formed to build more spaces for women in the art form.
Street art is typically a male-dominated space, and the Graffiti Girls of Kenya are empowering other women. The Spray Uzi Crew is an internationally-renowned graffiti group that is using their platform to produce socially-engaging art with the women in their communities.