To coincide with Valentine’s Day, we are pleased to announce the launch of ‘Peace blooms: Cattle, conflict and the roses of Lake Naivasha’ – a photo exhibition and pop-up flower shop on Kenya.
The exhibition will run from 10–15 February at Hoxton Gallery in London and will bring to life the stories of rose farmers and traditional Maasai pastoralists in Lake Naivasha, to prompt conversations about the relationship between water, conflict and peace in the country.
Lake Naivasha is a vital freshwater source in the dry Rift Valley region of Kenya, providing livelihoods for two million Kenyans, and supplying 70% of all roses on the UK market. However, pressures on the lake are causing water and land shortages. This is leading to tensions and violence among the different groups relying on the water to survive or make a living, especially the flower growers and the Maasai pastoralists.
The exhibition will explore how competition over natural resources has created potential for conflict in Kenya. Yet it will also show how the sustainable and fair management of water and land can support peace and stability.
Visitors will be invited to explore the stories and concerns of both pastoralists and flower growers and leave their own comments about how the situation should be managed. There will also be an opportunity to pick up a Kenyan Valentine’s rose.
The exhibition will mark the launch of Peace Audit: Kenya – the first in a series of International Alert’s peace assessments, giving the public the opportunity to immerse themselves in the lessons and cultural narratives of communities affected by conflict.