A mission to preserve Kenya's antique railway stations.



“..This is such important work. A magnificent labour of love that will touch so many. You are resilient, poetic and powerful behind the lens and with your pen” – Mark Kaigwa, CEO Nendo

Dear Reader,

I would be lying  if I did not admit that my apprehension towards holding an exhibition almost surpassed my excitement to do so. I knew nothing about planning and hosting such an event, more  than I knew how to save a railway. In front of me stood a project that I had spent the last three years trying to realize, falling and occasionally stumbling along the way, but finally getting to a point where I could display something to the public.

It wasn’t so much that  I had difficulty telling my own story, the challenge was in telling the story of others. Other people, other places, other communities…. I felt the responsibility of  passing on a message that I had been carrying for hundreds of miles. Like a loyal messenger my main aim was to deliver it as truly and honestly as possible, through the photographs, interviews, stories and memories  shared with me along the way.

Thanks to the wonderful space provided by the Shifteye Gallery,  the Save The Railway exhibition saw more than 250 people walk through its doors from August 19th to September 2nd 2016.  Young and old,  from all walks of life and different parts of the world, it was an absolute pleasure to meet and personally interact with those who came . Where some rekindled memories of the railway others made new  ones and learnt new stories.

I remember being continually awed by the immense amount of good will and support from friends, family, colleagues and many who I had the pleasure to meet for the first time during the exhibition.  The response was overwhelming and only served to prove that this was indeed an important project for present and future generations.

” I have been left speechless. I have fallen in love with it” – Otieno Omondi

To all those who attended the event, I’d like to extend my gratitude  for taking your time and making the effort to come. And to those who equally shared their experiences  and support through social media, thank you too.

Special acknowledgements to, Shifteye Gallery , Betting Ng’weno and the Last Dance in Kaloleni team, Kenya Railways MD Mr. Atanus Maina, Railway Museum curator Mr.Baraza and my family for  believing in me through it all. Most of the photos showcased during the exhibition can be found on the website under the railway stations and scenes sections. I will continue to curate and add your stories and memories here.  To this there is no end.

Yours Truly,

Tayiana Chao

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