1. FilmAid International is a small media NGO working primarily in the north Kenyan refugee camps of Dadaab and Kakuma, although they also have a presence in Nairobi. Their films are largely educational documentaries and, following their tagline, “Projecting Hope. Changing lives,” they focus on producing audiovisual testimonial accounts from poor communities. See Rawlence 2013 for an account of the film festival they hold in Dadaab. [return to page 1]

2. This transnational slum community is not confined to the so-called “developing” world. In their edited book African Cities: Competing Claims on Urban Spaces (2009), Locatelli and Nugent situate the relationships between different parts of cities within a global framework, using the “slums” on the outskirts of Naples and Paris as examples, and discussing the “emergence of new global patterns of poverty, new competition over resources and control of space, as well as new struggles for survival” (2009: 3). [return to page 2]

3. The powerful role of NGOs in the Nairobi media sector, especially in informal settlements identified as hotspots for development work, has historical precedence. The roots of the modern Kenyan NGO are well established, located firmly in the years following Kenyan independence (Amutabi 2006). Coupled with the establishment of the UN’s African headquarters in Nairobi in 1996, the development industry became a significant part of Nairobi’s economy. The ideas of an “NGO culture” and practices of “humanitarian filmmaking” have been raised by various filmmakers working in Kenya to describe the pervasive effect of Nairobi’s long history as a centre for development agencies and NGOs. Kenyan filmmakers such as Judy Kibinge and Nick Hughes (personal correspondences) have spoken about the complete infiltration of this NGO culture into filmmaking in Kenya too. [return to page 3]


For the funding that made this research possible, we would like to thank SOAS, University of London and The Leverhulme Trust. For supporting our research, we are grateful to Hot Sun Foundation, Slum-TV, all the members of the Slum Film Festival organizational team, Josh Wong and Carlota Molinero. We would also like to express our gratitude to the Centre for Media and Film Studies and the Department of African Languages and Cultures at SOAS, University of London.

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