Margaret Njeri Ngigi (b.1996) is a passionate visual artist, photographer and filmmaker. Born, raised and currently living in Kenya. Her creative practice has an intrinsically activist element, encouraging conversation on typically taboo topics through her striking, celebrated portraiture. Margaret is particularly known for her powerful and nuanced representations of pressures facing young women in Kenyan society.
Awards, Publications & Exhibitions
2020, Photo Basel: Beyond the cosmos. Represented by AKKA Project
2020, Photo London. Represented by AKKA Project
2020, Murky Waters UK Solo exhibition. Represented by Doyle Wham
2021, I EXIST! Represented by AKKA Project Venice, Italy
2021, Photo Basel: Beyond the Cosmos. Represented by AKKA Project
2021, Deus ex Femina, group exhibition. Represented by AKKA Project Dubai, UAE
2021, I exist-Photographic Group Exhibition. Represented by AKAA Project
2021, Photo Basel. Represented by AKKA Project
2022, Mimi Ni Nani-Introspection online at Artsy Reperesnted by AKAA Project.
Wrapped up in my head is a 1/1 collection I started the series Wrapped up in my head in 2018. At the age of 22 still young, but feeling very suffocated by life. And I realized many people were in the same boat, but the conversation of mental health was not loud enough. On the outside life seemed very rosy for many, looking like they have it all but on the inside feeling very lost and sad. Some keep hope alive and battle with it one day at a time, while others don't make it out alive.
Mke Mwema translates to a good wife in Swahili. I started in 2019, where I stage my models as who I see as a bride at the altar. In the process of deconstructing the sheltered reality that I have been protected from since childhood and now transitioning into a young woman i am learning and unlearning on what it means to be born in the female body in my society. It is an attempt to understand femininity and the marriage institution, which is seen as rite of passage in my society.
MURKY WATERS is a 1/1 collection of 8 portraits created in 2019.
This series is my way of examining the challenges that women still face in society, by illustrating the positions we are forced into, and the situations that different groups of women find themselves in. We are taught over and over again from childhood that the only way to stay safe is to remain within fixed boundaries. On this basis, young women must prioritise starting a family over self-development. I have witnessed how many are then stuck in unhappy and abusive marriages, and the rate at which girls drop out of school through teenage pregnancies. Institutions of religion are also used as both a tool of oppression and a means of spreading miseducation by the broader patriarchal society, furthering these agendas of inequality.
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