This collection of photographs of stuffed African animals on display in glass cases in the National Museum of Kenya is the opening show at Kathmandu, the new photo gallery and bookshop in the colourful mini-India area around the Sri Mariamma Temple on Silom road.
So this was my African safari, a safari in a city museum.
These exquisite still-lifes, taken in Nairobi when Manit was invited to teach a workshop there, exude a quality of absurdity and sadness.
As a foreigner, I was always accosted by touts to go on safari tours, he says. But to me, the word safari conjures up visions of white big game hunters; its designed for tourists on a colonial fantasy. I feel uncomfortable with such a vision of Africa.
Then I saw these stuffed animals in the museum, and they were so sad, with their glass eyes and painted backdrops of the African bush. They were killed then they were stuffed and posed as living animals in glass-boxed painted jungles. Its laughable that so much effort has been put into recreating an illusion of life.