Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa

Replenish Residencies Artistic
Type of work
Anti-Disciplinary Artist

Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa is a Kenyan, Immigrant, Shoga|Queer storyteller, speaker & feeler. The 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion, a 2017 TEDWomen speaker and ranked 3rd at the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam, FreeQuency is a highly sought after performer, host, social justice teaching artist and workshop leader. Rooted in various global communities & having spent their life at the intersection of arts, education and activism, they and/or their work in Reproductive Justice, #BlackLivesMatter organizing & activism, LGBTQ+ advocacy and writing have been featured on The Independent, the New York Times, OkayAfrica, Upworthy, TEDx, For Harriet, Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, & other outlets. FreeQuency is a founding cochair of the New Orleans chapter of the Black Youth Project 100, a founding committee member of the New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM), festival coordinator for the New Orleans Youth Poetry Festival, a blogger with the AfroFashion and Culture Blog Noirlinians and a member of Wildseeds: The New Orleans Octavia Butler Emergent Strategy Collective. During their residency they focused on their 4th book and a collage series.

“It was my first residency and I was excited for the opportunity to get away from the city and spend more time in nature. I worked on a series of collages during my time, edited the text of a book I have an upcoming deadline for, and worked on generally slowing down and organizing things for this and next season. Being able to physically step away from the city definitely helped me mentally step back and get a level of rest I don’t normally get.” – Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa

Photo by Abdul Aziz