A Project by Awuor Onyango

Woman (of) Substance

Artist Awuor Onyango is nominated in the category Sensing the World, mentored by Emeka Ogboh, with a project that explores how much of Kenya’s history can be uncovered through a mother’s personal history of scents.

Odors often offer a communal remembering that’s richer and more complex than the histories established by Western archiving formats.

Since olfactory memory cannot be erased through the violence and theft of colonialism, Woman (of) Substance proposes an exploration of the olfactory memories of motherhood, womanhood, nationhood, and the ruptures in traditional knowledge formed in the postcolony. What can the scents and textures of one woman’s life tell us about an entire nation? And how do we re-engage the senses in the process of recording and archiving memory?