In early June, Mathare Social Justice Centre (MSJC) and PAWA254 collaborated on a graffiti workshop in Mathare to officially launch MSJC’s ‘Art against violence’ campaign. The three day workshop was facilitated by PAWA254’s graffiti artist Smoki and provided (prospective) graffiti artists from Mathare with basic graffiti skills, including an introduction into the different techniques of spray painting. The newly acquired skills are going to be used to spread messages against violence around the Mathare settlement leading up to next year’s election. MSJC’s ‘Art against Violence’ campaign aims at sensitising Mathare residents and state actors of the detrimental repercussions of using violence.
Several messages were expressed including ‘Stop GBV’ (gender based violence), and ‘Stand Tall Speak Out’, but the underlying message went far deeper. With the violence from the 2007-2008 elections still fresh in their memory, MSJC members are currently making plans to spread positive messages throughout Mathare using graffiti to remind politicians and civilians not to incite or engage in violence or stir up tension.