An exhibition, led by 350 Africa in collaboration with 350 Kenya team to celebrate community activists from Lamu and Kitui campaigning against the coal setups within their communities. The launch saw a massive turnout of the audience who praised the idea of celebrating heroes while they are still alive. Various artists showed and confirmed their support to the movement by sharing poetry and music to audiences. They pledged to continue spreading anti-coal messages to the hearts of Kenyans and Africans.

The exhibition featured portraits of community leaders as well as images that capture the daily life of people living near proposed coal infrastructure. One artivist at the forefront of this visual journey is Peter Ndung’u, a photographer and visual story-teller who has a passion for sharing stories that matter to him and the world. Additionally, portrait photos were done courtesy of Ojwok (Africa 24 Media).

Peter Ndung’u, photographer

”It is high time we tell Centum and Chris Kirubi to let Lamu be. We do not need any coal plant in Lamu. This deadly coal plant will benefit the few corporate elites in Kenya. We have to amplify our call, act fast and deter any efforts aimed at setting up coal business in Kenya.” Said Boniface Mwangi, in his opening speech. Boniface Mwangi, the energetic  Kenyan activist was the chief guest at the exhibition. Boni, as he is popularly known is famous for organising various successful anti-corruption demonstrations across the country.

Amongst the few featured anti-coal activists included Mr Walid Ahmed, Ms.Khadija Shekuwe and Mr Abubakar M. Ali from Save Lamu Organisation based in Lamu county.

The Lamu archipelago, one of the very few UNESCO world heritage sites is in imminent danger of degradation from the proposed 1,050MW coal power plant.

From Kitui the exhibition beamed a spotlight on Mr Daniel Muoti and Madam Elizabeth Kyale. The two have known no other home but Kitui and their drive are to use all means possible to defend their land from coal destruction. Both the Lamu and Kitui anti-coal struggles are now a united national campaign under the banner of decOALonise. In their various heart-moving stories on their daily lives, the activists expressed the frustrations they face from the government and the coal proponents. It was very clear that their lives were not an easy one to be lived by any light-hearted person, even if it was for a few hours in a day.

In his speech, Boni encouraged the local activists to start putting names on the faces behind the coal projects in Kenya. He stressed on the significance of targeting various properties belonging to the local investors to put more pressure on them to abandon their appetite for quick dirty money coming from coal. He also promised his unwavering support to the deCOALonise movement and called on its leaders to embrace the use of both internet and protests to achieve its goal.

The four-day photo exhibition at the Kenya National Theater (Harry Thuku Road) was held from 11th Wednesday to Saturday 14th November 2017 with a total of 700 attendees.