Africa

The First Kenyan Firm to Make its Debut at the Venice Architecture Biennale

This week Cave_Bureau will have an exhibition called  “Obsidian Rain” in the central pavilion. For the show, 1,600 obsidian stones gathered from Gilgil, Kenya, will hang at precise heights from a timber-and-net structure to replicate a section of the roof of the Mbai caves on the outskirts of Nairobi, Mr. Karanja’s hometown. Inside, visitors can rest on logs from an African cedar tree, flown in from Kenya as well. The caves are important in Kenya’s recent history; Mau Mau fighters in the 1950s would gather there to hide and to regroup after clashes with the British in Nairobi. It was, Mr. Karanja said, a place of “deep contemplation” for the resistance fighters “to consider what the African state of the future would be.” He added, “It’s a space of congress.”

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