15 Apr 2021 | Updated 15 Apr 2021

After living and studying film in New Delhi for five years, Msingi Sasis headed back home to Nairobi, where he stalks the night, camera in hand, capturing often quiet, fleeting moments that show various aspects of life in the city after dark. “Delhi influenced me to explore the juxtapositions and dualities of the Nairobi night,” he says, referring to the project Nairobi Noir, which he initiated in 2012. It was published in 2014 to widespread acclaim across the city. In 2015, the local press was abuzz with news of his arrest by the Kenyan Police. He was accused of terrorist activity after he was observed taking photographs of various buildings at night as part of his now-famous project, excerpted in the pages that follow. After navigating the legal and social minefield that followed the arrest, Sasis went back to work. Nairobi Noir has expanded and evolved into a multimedia project that includes music and a “24/7 live stream” of Nairobi at night. “I have always been fascinated and inspired by the Nairobi night. One night I realised that, without knowing and deliberately intending it at all, I had been creating this body of work and that it resonated strongly with an audience,” Sasis says.