Throughout our daily lives, the majority of us do not think about how convenient and truly lucky we are. Rarely do we think about the the ease of having clean drinking water in our house, a toilet that flushes, or even someone who takes the trash away. For an estimated 1,000,000 people in Kibera, Nairobi, and the many people homeless around the world including on our own city streets of Nashville, the absences of these along with many other luxuries of life are a reality.
Micro Kibera puts the viewer into one of the largest slums in Africa. This installation has many working components to create a real experience that you would encounter while in Kibera. How could it possibly be in this condition? The people of Kibera have had little to no help from their government and they suffer for it. Included in this installation are clothes used by actual homeless of Nashville. They were received when the homeless traded their old clothes for new ones received from a clothing drive the the purpose of this instillation. In doing so, the viewer is able to relate Kibera, a tragedy of the world, with the Nashville homeless issue. There are over an estimated 3,000 homeless people in Nashville everyday. As much as 80 percent of people who have been homeless for more than a month have some sort of mental illness or substance abuse issue.
The issue of poverty and the reality of its conditions are brought to the viewer’s attention. My hope is that the viewer instilled with this knowledge gains new insight and awareness through the sight, smell, and sounds. With this perspective, the viewer stirs up these problems into action in order to bring about change and help others.