Portrait of Kim Karabo MakinDesign Indaba
Blue is a Personal Journey
Botswanan photographer Kim Karabo Makin uses the color blue to explore her experience of the unique spirit of her home country.
Botala jwa Botswana' (the Blue of Botswana) (2021) by Kim Karabo MakinDesign Indaba
Botala Jwa Loapi: The Blue of the Sky
In Setswana, the term Botala Jwa Loapi can mean "the blue of the sky" depending on the context. In this work Kim uses the phrase as a starting point.
Three Chiefs rendered in the Color Blue
Kim's work features a repeated pattern design that borrows from the face of the Botswana currency's 100 Pula note . The note features portraits of three chiefs who are monumentalised as fathers of the nation, for their role in the Republic of Botswana’s grand narrative.
Evoking Traditional Dress
In addition to referencing Botswana history through the motif of the three chiefs, Kim also refers to letaisi - traditional Botswana dress.
What does Kim say about her work?
''By intricately weaving together the history of the Three Chiefs, with the cultural value of particular geometric patterns and traditional dress, my work unpacks the layers of our societal make-up and fabric, based on my lived experience of daily life in Botswana"
What Does Kim Think it Means to be African?
"I believe that to be African means to be in constant conversation with our historical entanglement. To be African means to acknowledge and nurture the interconnectedness of one’s sense of self."