MaaSci is an idea of the Kenyan professional graphic artist Jacque Njieri, who published a mini-series of publications on the Instagram social network honouring Masai warriors, one of Africa’s largest ethnic groups.
Who are the Maasai warriors ?
Maasai warriors are certainly among the most famous African communities in Africa. It is a semi-nomadic tribe that brings together warriors and shepherds living in Kenya and northern Tanzania.
The Kenyan artist pays tribute to this tribe through a series of digital editing. For this reason, it has chosen to stage these Maasai warriors in space. Entitled « MaaSci », this artistic project bears a name that the artist invented and which is composed of the word Maasai and the word science fiction.
MaaSci highlights the role of women
The project is in line with the main character trait of this ethnic group. As Maasai warriors are semi-nomadic, this makes them the perfect candidates for space exploration because of their constant desire to move. A young Maasai man is discovered carrying his spear, stick and black lamb as he walks on the celestial vault. Or warriors exploring the interstellar void aboard a flying saucer.
The aim of this series for Jacques Njeri is to highlight the role of women in a futuristic world. In her work, women are represented here as cyborgs adorned with jewellery.
Influence and pop culture
To be able to set up this series of incredible images, the artist first focused on the Maasai culture by representing their jewellery and colourful ornaments that indicate age and social status within this community. She then combines these elements with science fiction and pop culture, such as the Star Wars saga, with some images that can remind fans of the saga of familiar planets.
An imagination that the Kenyan artist also draws on thanks to her sense of observation: « I imagine a lot. I observe things around me or on an image or scenario. I draw, then come back to the idea later and make it grow. Sometimes an idea is triggered by a word. The word MaaSci was my main inspiration for this project.
The perfect blend of traditionalism and futurism
By merging Masai culture into a world of science fiction, Jacque Njeri is part of the Afro-futurist movement that symbolizes itself as a mixture of cultural aestheticism and philosophy. The artists thus deal with themes or issues specific to African populations, which they then associate with codes related to science fiction.
Follow Jacque Njeri on :
Here is the link for the French version.