Acrolife – Creative Alliances of Marginalized Young Men in Kenya
March 28, 7:00 pm-8:30 pmFree
TU faculty, staff and students join us in welcoming Nina Berman from Arizona State University! She will give a public lecture highlighting the complexities of the lives of Kenyan acrobats and explores their experience in the context of Kenya, but also with an eye toward the situation of uneducated young men globally.
Marginalized young men struggle for survival across the planet. Their marginalization results from poverty and accompanying factors, such as low levels of education and membership in specific ethnic, racial, and religious groups. Their precarious status puts them at risk for being recruited into criminal and violent organizations. Young men in Kenya who decide to become acrobats fit the profile of such marginalized young men. They come from poor families, have little schooling, are members of an indigenous ethnic group, and often have experienced additional hardships.
Forming troupes provides a context of solidarity that enables acrobats to transcend their predicaments. Training their bodies and engaging in artistic creation results in an elevated self- image. Performing in extravagant venues, they experience an inspiring recognition that enhances their self-worth. Acrobatics fascinates because it reveals both the strengths and vulnerabilities of the human body. What is known as “kinesthetic empathy” is an outcome of this physical activity that affects both the practitioners and their audiences.