Diaspora-Artists logo

Ingrid Mwangi | Your Own Soul

Catalogue relating to an individual, 2003
Published by: Kehrer
Year published: 2003
Number of pages: 72
ISBN: 3-93325729-8

image of Ingrid Mwangi | Your Own Soul

Ingrid Mwangi | Your Own Soul is a monograph, published by German art publisher Kehrer Verlag, in 2003. From the back cover: “Ingrid Mwangi is an artist of biracial heritage, whose videos, installations, performances and photoworks incessantly explore her blackness. Having spent the first fifteen years of her life in Kenya where she was born, she moved to Germany where she still lives and works.

Her dual belonging is not only a symbolic matter for her. It is physical. It runs through her veins and is inscribed in her body. That richness, derived from the concurrence of here and there, has generated in her a fragility of sorts, a prism through which she attempts to view herself and the world.” Simon Njami

Various stipends and prizes… as well as the participation in numerous group shows and solo exhibitions in Europe and America confirm Ingrid Mwangi’s artistic concepts and choice of explosive topics.”

The publication, with German and English text, is extensively illustrated with the artist’s work. Contents as follows:

Foreword / Bernd Schulz and Lisa Puyplat

Neger - Don’t Call Me / Coloured / Down by the River / To Be in the World / Your Own Soul / Wild at Heart / Static Drift | Selected Works and Texts by Ingrid Mwangi

Art is the Message / Horst Gerhard Haberi

Beyond Wounds and Scars: the Multiple Worlds of Ingrid Mwangi, Jan Hoet and Ann Demeester

The Other State in the Sense of Reinterpretation or ‘The River of Thought Takes the Form of Skin?’ / Gislind Nabakowski


Prizes / Stipends / Awards

List of Exhibitions

List of Illustrations


The publication covers the artist’s recent practice, up to the point of Ingrid Mwangi | Your Own Soul (2003). Mwangi’s work in large part centers on issues relating to her identity, her history, her background and her hair and body. Witness for example her text accompanying her installation about her hair:

My hair

Do I own my hair?
Is it curly?
Does it wrap itself around my head?
Do I bathe it in chemicals?
Touch colour to it? Red
Do I bleach it like they did / I do my soul?

Is it straight?
Do I comb it with a hot thing?
Did I burn my scalp trying to get it to wrap itself?
A hot thing.

Do I wear it in dreads?
Does it tell a message every time I turn my head?
Does it grow like roots, long and hard?
Does it get heavy to bear?
Will I carry it long?
Will it carry me on?

Do I own it?
My hair.

Related people + view all 7

»  Ann Demeester

Born, 1975 in Bruges, Belgium

»  Horst Gerhard Haberi

Born, 1941 in Graz, Austria

»  Jan Hoet

Born, 1936 in Leuven, Belgium

»  Ingrid Mwangi

Born, 1975 in Kenya