Cole in Nairobi
Cole in Nairobi.
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I had planned to come to Nairobi to implement my design thesis project, which was to make a perfume company in one of the informal settlements in Mathare and work with alcohol producers to produce essential oils.”
Journey to Kenya.
The day I arrived in Kenya they closed the border, and all flights were cancelled. So I just made the cut by about a day.
Suddenly everyone started leaving, all the expats, everyone started going. I stayed because I thought: I have to finish this part of the design project."
I think for so many people, it's quite easy. They know where they’ve got to be.
And then there’s the frustration of not knowing what to do or where to be. Do I listen to the Canadian government? Do I listen to the Kenyan, do I listen to the Dutch? Who's my authority? Who do I bow down to and say 'Okay, take me away and look after me, state.'
Each country is doing a completely different method of control, all these forms of dealing with this pandemic are so relative."
Some of them are 10,000 shillings per bottle, but people are happy to spend the money!
So I thought 'What if we do a locally sourced, fancy perfume so we can all feel special?'"
You realise just how precarious some of these things were that we thought were so stable. Is it resistant to climate change? Is it resistant to a global pandemic? Can it withstand the unpredictability of everything?"
Oh, the irony of just a week."
I'm optimistic that it sparks this new way of relating to one another. It's like we're all afraid of each other, because potential carriers transmitters. On the other side, it's like 'well, anyone's at risk, I could be the one giving it to them'. So there's this sort of consciousness of your situation within a grander, bigger picture.
And I think that gives people a sense of knowing their own risk, but then also the power they might have, in effecting change even just in their neighbourhoods."
Maybe things will be okay in a year, but things will not go back to the way they were and people are already expecting a lower demand and a lower production than they were before. Also all forms of gatherings will probably be limited for quite a while, and that's mainly where roses are going. So we're just thinking how we can still preserve their fields.
This is just a way of making some lemonade out of Coronavirus."