Ngigi (b. 1996) is a photographer and filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya, whose work explores the complex pressures facing young women in contemporary Kenyan society. Her striking Murky Waters series offers a nuanced commentary on these issues through a unique, monochromatic lens, set in the mesmerising surrounds of Lake Magadi.
‘Murky Waters is my way of examining the challenges that women still face in society, by illustrating the positions we are forced into, and the situations that different groups of women find themselves in. We are taught over and over again from childhood that the only way to stay safe is to remain within fixed boundaries. On this basis, young women must prioritise starting a family over self-development. I have witnessed how many are then stuck in unhappy and abusive marriages, and the rate at which girls drop out of school through teenage pregnancies. Institutions of religion are also used as both a tool of oppression and a means of spreading miseducation by the broader patriarchal society, furthering these agendas of inequality.’ - Margaret Ngigi
Ngigi was shortlisted for Photo London’s Emerging Photographer of the Year Award in October 2020. She also featured in Photo Basel’s first virtual exhibition ‘Beyond the Cosmos’ earlier this year, and was a winner of the pan-African MASK Creativity Awards in 2019.