*Click on a photo to scroll through the gallery.
Kibera may be one of the world’s largest slums, but there is always abundant beauty to be found in unexpected places. Recently, I opened my eyes to the graffiti art around my neighborhood and I have become enthralled by its expression of creativity. Last week I set out with my camera to capture as much as I could, resulting in the images above.
As you can see, much of the art incorporates a message of peace which is likely born out of the horrific 2007 and 2008 post-election violence that crippled Kibera and the nation of Kenya as a whole. In fact, I found most of the graffiti in and around old structures that were burned down during this time and never rebuilt. My neighborhood saw the worst of the post-election violence. After capturing these photos, I did a little digging in order to find out more about Kibera’s most prominent graffiti artists whose tags I found. Some of them include Solo 7, Bank Slave, Gomba, and two guys that call themselves Maasai Mbili. These young men are establishing art camps for children, running art galleries inside the slum, speaking at conferences, and even traveling the world to share their talents. They were all born and raised in Kibera, and have lived through the community’s best and worst times. To them, it seems, graffiti art is not a form of vandalism or simply a hobby, but rather an expression of peace, justice, and a way to share their message with the whole world.
To learn more about Kibera’s graffiti art, visit: www.StreetArtOnTheRun.org and click on “Kibera.”