New, improved, and streamlined trailer! Please check it out and support.
Obviously financial support is very important but you can help support the film in many ways besides donation as well by tweeting, posting/liking on facebook, blogging, and sending it to your friends, family and professors, any any kind of support would greatly appreciated.
We have had another great day of shooting today for the trailer of United States of Kibera. Our goal is to have the trailer for our kickstarter page completed by the end of the weekend (aka sleepless weekend of editing). Once the kickstarter is up and running we will have 40 days to raise $5,000 to shoot the film.
Please spread the word and help us gain support to make this film happen.
Simone grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. After taking a few years off of school to work and travel, she moved to New York to attend Columbia University. There she double majored in American studies and African studies. Simone traveled to write in Egypt, Uganda and South Sudan this year. Simone continues to write for the Columbia Political Review. Infected with the “Africa bug”, she arranged to spend a semester interning at Pamoja FM. This internship allowed Simone to come back to Africa to do what she really wanted to; to make a film that shows a different side of Africa.
Simone knew that she could not undertake this project alone, she put together a wonderful small crew in Kibera:
John Ngaruiya (left) also known as GG Spice, is an artist and filmmaker. He grew up in Kibera and attended the Kibera Film School, where he won an award in his year for best fiction film. GG is the founder of an art collective called Jah-Army. The group started in 2005, with two members. Today there are 15 active members whom perform music and poetry, paint and make beadwork to inspire and motivate community development and peace building. Jah-Army also wrote an acclaimed song for the Stop Rape Now campaign.
Victor Oluoch (right) was raised in up country Kenya. He moved to Nairobi in 2005 to work with Hot Sun Films, where he was heavily involved with the film Togetherness Supreme. In 2009, Victor entered the Kibera Film School, where he continues to take advanced courses. He directed the film Friends Remain Friends, which was selected for the 2010 BBC MyWorld documentary competition.
Our trailer and kickstarter should be up by next week!
United States of Kibera documents the innerworkings of Pamoja FM, the radio station of Kibera.
Kibera is the worlds second largest urban slum, with population estimates ranging from 300,000 to one million. There are about 14 informal neighborhoods, most of which are largely separated by ethnic lines. Despite these divions and its bad reputation, Kibera is a community. It is a place where artists, dj’s, journalists and the local residents pool resources not only to survive but in order to positively contribute to the welfare of the community (despite lack of attention from the local government). Pamoja FM is the only radio station/media center in Kibera. The station was instrumental in quelling violence after the presidential elections of 2007. Election politics encouraged ethnic divisions and fueled preexisting tensions. Kibera, a very ethnically diverse area was especially affected. During that time, Pamoja became the voice of reason and rallying point for community cohesion by providing unbiased and multiethnic information updates, safety advice, and reinforcement of community ethics. Today Pamoja continues to be an integral part of the community for the best music, most reliable independent and localized media coverage, and continual representation of the people’s voice.
This documentary chronicles the ins and out of production at the Pamoja headquarters, and examines the ways the station is involved in community development. In addition, this film follows the daily lives of Pamoja’s staff; the emcees, journalists, dj’s and artists, most of whom are also involved in other creative groups inspiring the cultivation of community. What we as film makers have found most compelling to discover and attempt to portray is that despite the incredibly poor conditions that life in Kibera offers, this group of people do not want to leave, they only desperately want to create change through their respective arts. The film shows the processes that these artists go through to create whether for the radio station or individual projects, from the home and practice spaces all the way to their big events and performances. Highlighting the use of media and technology as a means of community development in Kibera is an essential element to the film as well. The use of media and technology creates an interesting contrast to the availability of technology, let alone electricity. Through the lenses of our subjects this documentary also provides a varied history and mapping of Kibera, attempting to locate the quintessential sights and sounds of the community.
We are currently working on getting our project on kickstarter, but in the meantime we have set up a paypal account to support our film. We are using all donations to pay the crew, get equipment and to finance security measures. You can send payments via paypal.