“”Utendi ” is her first project in Africa. It is inspired by: In Praise of the Arab Woman (Utendi wa Mwana Manga ), a poem attributed to the mythic Swahili writer Fumo Liyongo. Wishing to gain insight into the representation of the feminine in Swahili culture, Ali travelled to Lamu, an island on the Northern coast of Kenya in which the Swahili tradition is uniquely alive. She was prompted into a contemplation of the history of some aspects of her own culture and a revelation of unexpected hauntingly familiar images that profoundly connects to her identity as an Arab woman. ”
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