Meet Jim

Jim Chuchu began his practice in 2006 as 1/4 of Kenyan alternative music group Just a Band, alongside whom he created music and visual works until the band went on hiatus in 2013.

His photography debuted in the exhibition, Precarious Imaging: Visibility and Media surrounding African Queerness at RAW Material Company as part of Dak’Art 2014, and his visual works have since exhibited and screened at the MoMA, the Vitra Design Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and many more. His debut short film Homecoming premiered at the 2013 Durban Film Festival, and his film works have gone on to screen at in various festivals such as the Berlin, Toronto and Rotterdam international film festivals.

Jim Chuchu, 2023
In 2014, Jim co-founded The Nest Collective—a multidisciplinary art collective based in Nairobi, Kenya that has created works in film, music, fashion, visual arts and literature such as the critically-acclaimed queer anthology film Stories of Our Lives, which was banned in Kenya for ‘promoting homosexuality’. The film won the Jury Prize at the 2015 Berlinale Teddy Awards and— despite the ongoing ban in the country—has gone on to screen in more than 90 countries.

Jim co-founded HEVA in 2015, a fund that invests in the East African creative economy sector. Since its inception, HEVA has invested more than $3 million in creative businesses, innovated financial models specifically for the region, created networking, exchange and training opportunities for young entrepreneurs and pushed for policy and legal reforms to improve the sector.

As part of the Nest Collective, Jim co-created the International Inventories Programme (IIP), an international research and database project investigating the presence of Kenyan cultural objects in institutions across the globe. Between 2018-2021, the project catalogued an inventory of more than 32,000 objects, and engaged varying publics on the urgent debates of object movement and colonial history. Jim became a TED Fellow in 2021, and delivered a TED talk titled 'Why are stolen African artifacts still in Western museums?'.

Jim exited the Nest Collective and HEVA in 2021 to return to his personal practice, which currently includes producing and performing music as himself and as part of Just a Band, and co-producing Fight for Food—a documentary film about food production in Kenya.


2023 - "Kumaiha", single
2023 - "ech0: dawn", EP (Just a Band)
2022 - "Save My Soul (Who Will Remain?)", single (Just a Band)
2019 - "Blue Ticks and Kisses", EP (The Nest Collective)
2018 - "Sweet and Sawa", studio album (The Nest Collective)
2015 - "To Catch a Dream", original soundtrack
2014 - "Stories of Our Lives", original soundtrack
2013 - "The Nest presents: Legacy", compilation album (The Nest Collective)
2012 - "Sorry for the Delay", studio album (Just a Band)
2009 - "82", studio album (Just a Band)
2008 - "Scratch to Reveal", studio album (Just a Band)

2020 - “Tapi!”, speculative documentary short
2018 - We Need Prayers, web series
2017 - Let This Be A Warning, VR short film
2016 - Tuko Macho, interactive web series
2015 - To Catch A Dream, short fashion film
2014 - Stories of Our Lives, anthology feature film
2013 - Homecoming, short film as part of the African Metropolis project.

Selected Screenings

Toronto International Film Festival
Rotterdam International Film Festival
The 65th Berlin International Film Festival
Oberhausen International Short Film Festival
World VR Forum Festival
Tribeca Film Festival
Sydney Film Festival
Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Chale Wote Street Art Festival, Ghana
BFI Flare
MoMA Documentary Fortnight Festival
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Locarno Film Festival
Durban International Film Festival
Selected Exhibitions

Jim Chuchu's Invocations, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
Perfoma 17 Biennial
Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design, Vitra Design Museum
Fashion Film in Africa, Guggenheim Bilbao
Fashion Cities Africa, Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove
The Bones Remember, FNB Joburg Art Fair
Africa Utopia, Southbank Centre
1:54 NY: Contemporary African Art Fair