A day in Kangemi

Kangemi Slum, Nairobi. October 12, 2010. Known as Urban Refugees; the once refugees from violent neighboring countries, that for the lack of help they need it, force them to move at the outskirts of the Capital, Nairobi; creating what is known as slums, looking for themselves and their families; as well many move from the country side, men specially of the West of Kenya. Around four million souls live at the slums in Nairobi, open sewer runs on the streets and the size of the tin shacks with a minimal space. It is like different neighborhoods on every compound that is formed by ten to twelve shacks.

Barrio Kangemi, Ciudad Perdida. Octubre 10,2010. Nairobi, Kenia. Conocidos ahora como Refugiados Urbanos los que fueran Refugiados de los paises violentos alrededor de Kenia y por la falta de ayuda tienen que emigrar para el mejoramiento de sus familias; tambien llegan los campesinos de la parte Oeste del país. Cuatro millones de almas viven en las ciudades perdidas o slums en Nairobi. todo el drenaje es inexistente así que todo corre al nivel de las calles, los pequeños cuartos de lámina son del tamaño de un ropero. Es como estar en diferentes vecindades cada una de ellas formada por doce cuartitos y una letrina al centro para compartir.

This little girl is ready to get back home. La niña ya esta lista para llegar a casa.

Joshua Ateri is a seamstress working and living on his store at the entrance of Kangemi Slum for the past eight years. Kisili is what he calls home with a family there he visits as often as he can.
Joshua Ateri es un sastre que trabaja y vive en este local a la entrada del Slum Kangemi. Lleva trabajando por más de ocho años. Tiene familia en Kisili que es su pueblo natal y va a visitarlos tanto como puede.

As explained by Pauline Aswami the 22 year old secretary of the Tumshangilieni nito to “Sangilia” School-Foster Care Home founded in 1994 by Anne Klanjugu. They host around 90 street kids from Nairobi and with the same government curricula teach the grammar to high school. Doing a follow up to find their alumni whereabouts.

Explicadome todo hacerca de la escuela Tumshangilieni nito to “Sangilia” School-Foster Care Home undada in 1994 by Anne Klanjugu, Csas de protección para los niños de la calle de Nairobi, tienen 90 alumnos y siguen el programa del Gobierno para primaria y secundaría.

Life is not easy at the slum as the Wafula family can tell, Leakey and Joan with children Collin and Willie. For the past five years have had no job and they own to the landlord around Fifteen Hundred Kenyan Shellings around ten or fifteen USDls.

La vida no es fácil en la ciudad perdida de Kangem así lo explica la Familia Wafula con los niños Collin and Wllie de Joan y Leakey. No ha tenido trabajo en los pasados cinco años y deben de renta cerca de 1.500 KSh como unos 15 o veinte Dolares.

Woman work on their own personal enterprise as Florence Kakai that has been doing charbroil for over 18 years here at the Kangemi Slum. They mix coal dust with dirt and water, it takes a couple day to dry and be ready to sale for cooking.

Mujeres emprendedoras tienen sus propios negocios como Florence Kakai que lleva haciendo carbon para cocinar por los pasados 18 años en esta ciudad perdida de Kangemi Slum. Mezclan el polvo de carbón con tierra agua y lo dejan secar al sol por un par de dias hasta que esta listo para la venta.

Edith Khwere has only eigth years on the mixture, also had and extension of her drying area to the street of the Kangemi Slum.

Edith Khwere solo tiene ocho años en el negocio y al parecer ya tiene una extensión para secar su producto ya en la calle.

Some woman prefer to groome themselves as to add some extentions on their hair as Kwamboka and Fame Ahono do in the middle of the afternoon.

Algunas mujeres prefieren arreglarse entre ellas como es el caso de Kwaboka y Fame Ahono ponendose unas extensiones en el cabello.

Or can wait for five years for someone to show up and offer them a good job after being tired for looking for one and convert themselves on what is know as “The Iddlers.” as Rhora Mandiko or Joyce Savai.

Otras pueden esperar por cinco años a que alguien les venga a ofrecer un buen trabajo después de cansanse de tanto buscar un empleo. Y ahora se les conoce como “Los Ociosos.” Como Rhora Mandiko y su amiga Joyce Savai.


About marcocastrophotography

I was born and raised in México City, where the mixture of cultures gave birth to the nation that we know as México. My grandmother was the last in my family who spoke fluent Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. Due to the racism in those days, she never taught her daughters the language, and therefore, we, as a family, lost our cultural heritage. I have been involved, however, with the indigenous world, even though I do not believe this happened by coincidence. I have a background as a graphic designer, one credit short of a BA in Graphic Communication Design from the National School of Visual Arts, National Autonomous University of Mexico (ENAP-UNAM). While in a Photographic Workshop at the University Center of Cinematographic Studies (CUEC-UNAM), I met a photographer who changed my life forever: Ignacio “Nacho” López. I can still see how strongly he influences me when I develop my work in my digital darkroom. I have also had the opportunity to share marvelous moments with photographers like Dolores Alvarez-Bravo, Hector García, Lázaro Blanco, and Walter Reuter who introduced me to the etnia Triqui in Oaxaca, Mexico (Triqui Nation). I traveled and worked as Reuter's assistant for several years. I moved to New York City in 1993, which was a dream of mine for years. Here I have had the opportunity to collaborate with newspapers, magazines, and several news organizations, as well as literary publications. I also have been working as a photographer-consultant for the United Nations headquarters in New York City for the past six years at the openings of the General Assemblies. I spent endless hours in my darkroom, even mixing my own chemicals blowing up my prints back in my hometown; skills that I apply today in my digital work with attention to detail. I hold a BA on Communication and Culture from the School of Professional Studies at the Graduate Center City University of New York class of 2010. I consider myself as a Photojournalist with a Humanistic approach; I have an opportunity to rapidly built rapport with my subjects allowing me to break the barriers of language and culture; this open the doors for me to get a glimpse at their experience on their daily life and activities. Taking advantage of the old school and the digital imagining, I take the Previsualization of an image as taught by Anselm Adams with the algorithms of the new digital era and combine them to enhance what I see and experience at the moment of capture. My experience as a printer in Black and White darkroom, has allow me to choose the right material to support my imaginery. Using the Canon Pro9500 MarkII with it’s high-performance, high-density 7680 nozzle FINE print head that produces ink droplets as small as 3-picoliters for stunning, true-to-life images. The Canon LUCIA ink system guarantees archival photo life up to 100 years. All this in a 100 % acid-free cotton paper as the Moab Somerset enhanced velvet 225gsm. In 13” by 19” prints that I sale as fine art. As freelance Photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Am always open for the booking of my expertise and for hire anywhere in the world as I hold two passports as Mexican-American and a driver’s license for the State of New York.
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One Response to Kangemi/Nairobi

  1. Jordi Daza says:

    Fotos impresionantes, lugares magnificos e historias inolvidables !!!

    Felzi cumpleaños Arican-Marco.
    Digame que de menos se llevo una botella de tequila para celebrar !! si no pues SAAAALUUUUDDDDDDDDDD POR USTED MARCO !!!

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