Lamu Arts Festival 2017


February was a busy month for us and I organized the music for the 2nd Lamu Arts Festival which was no mean feat. The Lamu County Government were the main sponsors for the music and Herbert Menzer, long time Shela resident and art lover single handily organized the art and dhow race this year. Blood, sweat and tears up until kick off in Lamu House for an intimate meet and greet with some live music to start the Thursday off. More tears flooded by many as Idd Aziz, our head line act, conducted a drug rehabilitation work shop with 62 drug users who attended, we only expected 10 to show up! There is a huge problem of drug abuse in Lamu town and we just scratched the surface. It really was an emotional gathering and the Lamu Arts Festival and founder of Diamond Beach, my Mum, Helen Feiler, are hoping to work closely with Mohamed who is building a rehabilitation center on Lamu island and is interested in using alternative methods to get users off the drugs and back into the community.

More to come later in the year on progress with this as the rehab will open in August.

On Friday the Lamu Fort in Lamu town square was filled with art and awe dropping sculptures calved by Joachim Sauter depicting the Manda coral stone cutters. These larger than life human representations calved in wood brought the whole exhibition to the next level. The Fort was filled with stunning works by over 30 artists. The crowds filtered out to the square for the performances by Abaki Simba, Labdi and Idd Aziz and Lamu loved it and so did we. To have nearly 1000 people, mostly locals all enjoying Kenyan music was such a pleasure. We have a new Lamu resident who has donated a huge sound system to Kenya, Audio Sans Frontier – Funktion One, it is one of the best sounds in the world and we were able to have this for the Lamu concert and for the party at Diamond! It had to be a reggae party, loud and clear. What a feeling to have one of the best sound systems in the world on Manda island, lets hope we can get it back again for next year.

I am are super proud to be involved with the Lamu Arts Festival and Herbert who owns Jaha house and other beautiful houses in Shela has made sure the arts side of the event is a huge success.

Here is a 10 minute video of the Lamu Arts Festival.
You can now purchase a small piece of the Lamu Painters Festival and Lamu Art Festival with a beautiful Catalog LPF 2017 features 23 artists & more than 200 paintings on 135 pages. Many photos also of the unique event on an extraordinary island. The participants have been caught from the spirit of Lamu.