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Posted on February 1, 2016 5:50 PM | Permalink | No Comments | Printer-Friendly View | Share This Article

A new documentary photography exhibit on the Social Documentary Network:  

Images of Struggle and Perseverance in Mathare, Africa's second largest slum.
keith harmon snow

Please support my work according to your means.

1 February 2016


* Title credit: a line in a Leonard Cohen song.

Mathare is one of Africa's oldest and largest "slums," with crushing poverty and destitution, with patchwork "homes", patchwork doors, fences, planks over open sewers, mud or wood plank walls, and flimsy rusted roofs.  Forced or born into poverty here, people have few choices or opportunities.  Amidst the garbage can be found hope, joy, beauty and love -- art and resourcefulness -- bespeaking the resilience of the human spirit.

Under colonialism Nairobi became an Apartheid city segregating whites and people of color (Indians and Africans). The racial disparities in Kenya and the Quality of Life in Mathare are stark: colonial policies maintained the spatial and racial segregation. Structural inequalities increased after independence (1963).

This exhibit offers scenes of daily life and struggle, while attempting to capture the apathy and the joy, the dullness and fullness, the hopelessness and the creativity of the people -- whose human rights have been egregiously and systematically denied.  As a visitor to Mathare I was made witness to the people's struggle, something for which I now feel some responsibility.

Written by: keith harmon snow

Photography Credits: keith harmon snow

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