Tourism – Its Negative Aspects

The Paintings Tourism - its negative effects

This painting (1983) was inspired by a cover picture of Viva magazine – it was a painting by Kibachia Gatu referring to the murder of a prostitute in Mombasa and the laughable penalty imposed by a white judge on the murderer, a US marine. The nakedness of the marines is deliberate and sums up the nature of Imperialism. The event is portrayed on the left hand side of the painting.

The centre section shows the fertile land which is cordoned off for the benefit of tourists (vultures bearing the imperialist colours), while the pastoralists and their underfed cattle are hounded out.

In the third section we see a destitute fisher family again cut off from access to its livelihood from the sea; and a distraught father forced to accept the money his daughter earns from prostitution with a US marine. In the background is a US man-of-war ship – at that time these ships used to dock in Mombasa port. The three signs of Hakuna kazi, Hakuna ruhusa and Hakuna njia draw attention to the plight of ordinary citizens in neo-colonial Kenya.

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