Vincent R. Ogoti

My Story

 

Vincent Ogoti is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is completing a dissertation on “Performing Violence in Kenya.” He is also a peacebuilding practitioner with extensive experience in running conflict transformation projects in East Africa, the Middle East, and the US. 

He earned a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nairobi. He has also studied English and Political Science (coursework) at Yale University where he was a Fulbright scholar at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.

He founded Pearls House to give emerging scholars and artists a platform to collaborate and share ideas that will change our nation and propel it to a desired sustainable future.

Vincent is the curator of Peace Narratives Lab, an initiative that develops strategic peace narratives in contexts with “competing conflict narratives.”

 

On August 9, the University of Nairobi Traveling Theatre, staged an amazing performance of “A Shadow in the Sun,” a play written by Vincent R. Ogoti and co-directed by the author and Kevin M. Mosigisi.

The play interrogates our society, especially on how it handles complex issues. Our society, like any other in the world, continues to evolve. Our generation is constantly exposed to difficult issues with no easy answers. “A Shadow in the Sun” takes us through a journey that highlights some of these issues that often appear simple, but in practice are complicated. What we saw on stage underscores the idea that when we take a simplistic approach to solving difficult issues, we are bound to make mistakes. The play problematizes challenging issues such as gender and sexuality and their representation in art to show us that when we encounter issues that are not amenable to any easy solution, we should appeal to our moral imagination. As John Paul Lederach, a peacebuilding scholar and practitioner writes, “moral imagination requires the capacity to imagine ourselves in a web of relationships that include our enemies; the ability to sustain a paradoxical curiosity that embraces complexity without reliance on dualistic polarity; the fundamental belief in and pursuit of the creative act; and the acceptance of the inherent risk of stepping into the mystery of the unknown that lies beyond the far too familiar landscape of violence.”