Meet Philippa. Philippa is a Kenyan/German filmmaker and photographer. She describes herself as an aesthete, an artist and an African. Philippa has enjoyed great success with her photographic series titled : A VIEW FROM MANDA; the pictures document the Sundance Institute’s first East African theatre lab which took place on the island of Lamu. The series was exhibited to a full house by the Sundance Institute at The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art in New York City earlier this year. The exhibition also made its way to her home base, Nairobi, this August.
Philippa’s films are not to be overshadowed by her photography. Her short film; Gubi – The Birth of Fruit premiered at The Brooklyn International Film Festival 2008, and went on to be screened at numerous festivals worldwide, notably the Durban International Film Festival 2008, FESPACO 2009, and the Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles, 2009. Her one minute visual art film, ‘Speaking in Tongues’ was screened at The Beijing Art Museum in 2008 and The International Film Festival Rotterdam 2010.
She’s also just completed her music video for Just-A-Band’s – ‘Room for Me’ which was a German/Kenya music collaboration.
She is currently working towards her first narrative feature film, ‘Two Princes’. Production is set for 2012, the film will be shot largely on the Islamic island of Lamu.
1. Living creatively is….loving, observing, putting your ego on the line because you follow your heart, dancing, making love, singing, drawing, expressing and always doing what you love whenever you can.
2. Define yourself…..i am always changing, always evolving, I am serious, funny and loving and I am good at hiding one or more of these things
3. On your work….my work is me, and i am my work. through my work i search for myself. i somehow believe that through my work i will find answers to some certain questions that plague me
4. On happiness… happiness is release. happiness is living here. to me at the moment, i would say happiness or joy is life without anxiety or worry, or fear
5. On Art…. art is you and you are art. oh and art is not pompous or condescending. art is life, and life is art and art is accessible to anybody and everybody, and anybody can make art – so long as they are true to their heart.
6. Rules you live by…. go when you are invited, pray, exercise, sing, listen to your heart, and do not have fear – if danger comes to you i am sure your fight or flight will kick in. i.e. you are prepared always.
7. This morning i woke up and thought…. thank you god for what i have, and then i thought: ”gee whiz, you mean i have to get up now, and go for a 1 hr 30 min run?”
8. I’m influenced by…. matisse, rumi, egon schiele, klimt, hundertwasser, tinga tinga art, kwesi abbesetts, chuck close, leonard cohen, forough farrokhzad, jeff buckley, the cure, jonathan safran foer, nuri bilge ceylan, billy holiday, picasso
9. Responsibility is… responsibility is doing things you don’t always want to do, responsibility is thinking long term, and that means knowing your long term goals, and acting in accordance which means sometimes doing things you would rather not do like wake up early or work or save money et cetera responsibility is taking full culpability for your actions – knowing why you do things, taking responsibility for it and not doing certain things because you are AWARE about the harm it may to yourself and/ or others
10. Ten People I’d like to ask these questions to: (Absolutely anyone, dead or alive)…jeff buckley, barack obama, xavier naidoo, fatih akin, nur bilge ceylan, ingmar bergman, gil scot heron, billy holiday, nina simone and rumi
Philippa’s music video for Just-A-Band:
Watch her film GUBI – THE BIRTH OF FRUIT here:
You can catch Philippa here: