<videovortex> found channels: slum-tv.info

Geert Lovink geert at xs4all.nl
Sat Jan 26 18:45:03 CET 2008


In 2006, during our stay in Kenya in the framework of the 
Group-exhibition “economy class” at the Alliance Francaise in Nairobi 
(http://economyclass.sonance.net/) we managed to establish a very 
productive cooperation with the artists and photographers Sam Hopkins, 
Fred Otieno and Julius Mwelu. Together we documented and realised Lukas 
Pusch’s Performance “Vienna Voodoo”, which was done in Mathare. Mathare 
is the biggest slum in Kenya with approximately 700 000 inhabitants 
without electricity, running water and a sewage system. During our 
filming, Fred and Julius told us about the premiere of a German 
documentary movie for which they had done the camera work two years 
earlier. Suddenly they became sad and thought that this is odd because 
approximately one third of the people appearing in the film, have died 
in the meantime; and the movie is their only memory.

The foundation of SLUM-TV SLUM-TV wants to documents the lives of the 
people in the slum and to reevaluate these lives through the camera. A 
camera always attracts attention. Our partners from the slum film and 
document the life in Mathare. The small movies are then shown in public 
places in Mathare, like a newsreel. In Mathare, there exist a variety 
of self-established cinemas. Mostly American and African films and 
European football is shown there. Analogous to weekly news-shows in the 
early age of television our partners want to show their contributions 
in these cinemas, and maybe to charge a small entree fee in order to 
finance videotapes and other material.

Copies of the videos are sent to Vienna. We will also try to distribute 
them under “Creative Common” licenses. That means non profit orientated 
community TV’s could use material for free, but has to name authors. 
All other users would have to pay. From the proceeds the manufacturers 
in the slums benefit again. Technical infrastructure + Workshop Our 
next goal is to purchase two video-cameras, a computer and a 
video-projector, and to donate the technical infrastructure to our 
partners (Fred Otieno, Julius Mwelu und Sam Hopkins). A 
two-weeks-workshop shall follow in order to teach the editing and 
cutting of digital video.

Supervision: Lukas Pusch and Alexander Nikolic
Digital archive and European partners

The results of the Workshops will be presented in Vienna, and also 
streamed in the internet. From April 2007 on we will develop a digital 
video-data base which will be organised as a network of local 
contributors; i.e. users from Mathare can upload their videofiles, and 
organise their own archive to control and build it. The transfer of the 
video-documents will be handled through normal snail mail. As these 
goals are still a perspective for the future this process might take a 
few years to work out; Our local partners and their local context

In Mathare Julius Mwelu and Fred Otieno are active in the MYSA
Organisation (Mathare Youth Sport Association).

MYSA is an outstanding organisation in Mathare that has been active for 
more than 20 years. Its major task is to organise and offer a 
multiplicity of activities. The most successful project is football, 
with approx. 1200 soccer teams a quarter of which are woman teams. With 
soccer the whole MYSA Project started, and meanwhile many players 
managed to be nominated and to play for the Kenyan National soccer 
team. Besides the fact that young people get an opportunity for sports 
and many people from Mathare can make a living out of the 
professionally organised Soccer Team some players were even sold to the 
French Premiere League lately; retired players work as coaches and are 
responsible for the youth’s teams. There are many other positive side 
effects as sports also serves as one of the best Aids preventions. And 
the successful participation of the women’s soccer team at the World 
Championship in Norway where they ranked third raised their prestige 
within Mathare. It made the young women prouder and as they are well 
trained, men’s behaviour towards them changed significantly.

This year a team from the MYSA-project won the Street-Soccer-WM in 

Since a few years the agenda of the MYSA office has been extended to 
include also art, dance, theatre and music sections. Similar projects 
are going to be set up in Botswana, Tanzania and other African 
countries which makes it a very appropriate partner for the slum-tv 

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