As a multi-award-winning photographer and digital artist based in Nairobi, Kenya, Osborne Macharia's visual- and narrative-driven style, known as 'Afrofuturism,' has been recognized internationally not only as entertaining and Afrocentric but also as a platform for discussing critical social issues and conveying important messages on topics such as inclusion, representation, gender abuse, female genital mutilation, albinism, conservation, and care for the elderly. As a commercial photographer Macharia has been privileged to work with some top local and international brands, including Marvel (Black Panther), Disney, the Oprah Winfrey Network (Queen Sugar), Absolut, MTV, Volkswagen, Forbes, Guinness, and Mercedes-Benz. In 2018, Macharia was also the first Kenyan ever to be selected as a jury member for the prestigious Cannes Lions creative awards and the ADC/One Show Awards.
Nairobi-based "Blinky" Bill Sellanga is a singer-songwriter, beat maker, producer, TED Fellow, and one-fourth of the Kenyan art and music collective Just a Band. He is an alumnus of the Red Bull Music Academy and the OneBeat international music collaboration. In 2017, Sellanga released his debut solo album, titled Everyone’s Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales, on the heels of his experimental 2016 EP, We Cut Keys While You Wait.
Osborne and Bill will discuss their recent creative collaboration entitled: Remember The Rude Boy. A fictional narrative about a tailor and his "up-cycled" thrift shop fashion collections, Remember The Rude Boy is a celebration of Black Fatherhood and mentorship within the community. The initial project took place in Nairobi, Kenya, with subsequent editions in Accra, Ghana, and Johannesburg, South Africa. During a week-long residency in Detroit as part of the Witt Visiting Artists program at the Stamps School of Art & Design, the artists plan to connect with African-American veterans in Detroit to create a new edition of the project. Remember The Rude Boy - Detroit will premiere at the Thursday, September 13 Speaker Series event in Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater.
Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place on Thursdays at 5:10 pm at the historic Michigan Theater, located at 603 E. Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor, and are free of charge and open to the public.