we represent many voices in the slums and this is who we are
We are a grassroots media community providing a means of expression to informal settlement communities in Kenya by providing the pertinent tools for this.
With a vision to radically redefine the image of the informal settlements we work in, we use film as empowerment and development tool while networking with other similar-minded organizations in raising awareness nationally and internationally about the lives of informal dwellers.
It all started with a show by Austrian artists at the Alliance Française in Nairobi in March 2006. Drawing from their different perspectives, the artists from Vienna (Barbara Husar, Michael Lampert, Alexander Nikolić and Lukas Pusch), and Sam Hopkins, based in Nairobi met with the residents of Mathare, a slum of 500,000 people in Nairobi. In meeting with the residents, the need for an authentic story highlighting the lives and times of the residents was mooted and slowly developed. After numerous interviews, of the different stories from the different artists' perspectives, a documentary fusing the different stories was developed. It was, in essence, the very first general test for what would be slum tv and therefore sought to very authentically speak to the real-life stories of the residents of Mathare slums. In the words of SLUM TV co-founders, the vision and values continue to drive our narrative because after all - from it did we arise!!
“..........It is not uncommon for visiting dignitaries to wonder around Mathare in a press jaunt. However, I had the impression that the local audience did perceive us as different. So developing from this experience onto Slum TV, I think what I am most interested in is the issue of primary and secondary audience.” Sam Hopkins.
“....working for years with process-oriented works, that produce public sphere…I started before going to Nairobi to get contacts with interested people. Sam Hopkins was our first contact, and for me it was clear, after I saw the works he did, that I want to work with that guy. I started earlier, to think about archives, and how to make them public….i wanted to work something out in the field of media….with Sam Hopkins, we found the person who had cooperated with people from Mathare Slums.” Alexander Nikolic.
A radically redefined image of the slum
To capture, document and tell authentic stories on the lives of slum dwellers through film and photography