Photographer:Thandiwe Muriu
Continent: Africa
Country: Kenya
Project Title: Camo
Project Continent: Africa
Project Country: Kenya
Nominated By: John McDermott
Seconded By: Simon Newton,

As the sole female photographer operating in the Kenyan advertising photography industry, Muriu repeatedly confronted questions around the role of women in society, the place of tradition, and her own self-perception.

The Camo series, showcases Africa’s mix of vibrant textiles, cultural practices, and beauty ideologies. Through surreal illusions Muriu confronts issues surrounding identity while concurrently redefining female empowerment through her application of fabric and common household items.

She creates bold accessories by reimagining objects associated with Kenyan daily life and, using ankara fabric, designs custom-made garments that merge her subjects into their surroundings- all without digital collage. Paring each work with an African proverb, Muriu expresses the collected wisdom of generations recorded through oral history. Their usage invites consideration on how heritage informs and shapes the contemporary identity.

Camo 42

Happiness is like a perfume you cannot pour it all on others without allowing a few drops to fall on yourself African Proverb br Glasses made from sink strainers

Camo 39

A strong tree shall always grow from the roots and not the seeds African Proverb br Glasses made from beads

Camo 35

Where you sit when you are old shows where you stood in youth African Proverb br Glasses made from hair rollers

Camo 37

A diamond does not lose its value due to lack of admiration African Proverb br Earrings made from bottle caps


If there is no enemy within the enemy outside can do us no harm African Proverb br Glasses made from torches

It Takes Imagination

Without effort no harvest will be abundant African Proverb br Glasses made from cookie moulds

Not My Mothers Headdress

Headwraps are a key part of African culture Every time a woman wears one she adorns herself with the African equivalent of a regal coronet br Glasses made from pastry cutter

I See You

Where there is love there is no darkness African Proverb br Glasses made from tissue paper

A Love Letter To Myself

A little rain each day will fill the rivers to overflowing African Proverb br Glasses made from shoe polish

Camo 27

Even if you close your eyes while looking in the mirror the image remains yours African Proverb br Glasses made from earrings