2017 Editorial Board

Editor-in-Chief

Matthew Zipf

Publisher

Anamaria lopez

 

Design editor

Theresa yang 

Marketing Director

Huhe yaN

arts editors

michelle huang

charly voelkel

lead web editor

poorvi bellur

Managing Editors

amanda kam

dimitrius keeler

shambhavi Tiwari 

karen yuan

Copy Chief

Maggie Toner

Senior Editors

vivian casillas

audrey deGuerrera

brian gao

belle harris

melissa ho

jahan nanji

sheena qiao

bani sapra

nina zweig

Copy Editors

sahana narayanan

song rhee

United States of Kibera

In Kibera, one of the most notorious slums in the world both for its extreme poverty and danger, there is a group of artists who are inspiring tangible change within the community. Based out of Katwo Kera, one of the 14 informal neighborhoods in Kibera, is Jah-Army. While the group started in 2005 with two members, today there are about 15. Each member specializes in a type of art including basket weaving, beadwork, graffiti, film, painting, and banana leaf carving. They also create music as a group, perform, DJ, and emcee. Jah-Army uses their art to spread messages to the community. The group promotes environmental consciousness in Kibera, security within the community by discouraging guns and violence, and inspiring change through the use of art. Currently, Jah-Army is planning a day after Christmas event with the help of the community radio station, Pamoja FM. On their daily 2:00 show, "Pass the Mic, Speak Up Your Mind", the radio will hold a campaign in which listeners can call in to talk with each other and Jah-Army on the topic. On December 26, workshops will be held to teach how one can use the natural environment to create different kinds of crafts, art pieces, and jewelry, and how this can become economically self-sustainable. There also will be an open art gallery walk where all artists in Kibera can display their finest pieces. At night there will be performances from many famous arts groups around Kibera such as the Kibea Hamlets, a group of young acrobats, and Nairobi Ngoma, a group of traditional dancers and drummers.

GG Spice, founder of Jah-Army said, "This is going to be a really big event. With all of the crazy politics going on right now in Kenya, people here in Kibera are affected the most. We want to give them something that they can take into the New Year and use to make life better."

I have been lucky enough to become friends with this very talented group. When I met them, I just couldn’t help but see a very compelling story. I hope you do too.  I am also currently working on a film covering the planning of this event and the daily ups and downs of life in Kibera. If you want to know more about Jah-Army or more of my work, please check out these sites.

http://unitedstatesofkibera.tumblr.com

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2045945057/united-states-of-kibera

 

TPP, ASAP

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