Kibera, where I was born and raised, is a vast slum settlement located in Nairobi, Kenya. It is said to be home to between 350,000 and 1 million people, depending on who you ask. This has given rise to its reputation as “the largest slum in Africa”. But behind these vague statistics, Kibera has thousands of stories to be told.

From afar the neighborhood is a dense jungle of rundown corrugated rooftops, indistinguishable huts huddled closely together with TV antennas and electricity poles projecting into the air. While Kibera is hardly a continuous cycle of poverty and hardship, that has always been the dominant visual narrative.

But within its ever-sprawling and captivating landscapes, Kibera is a mix of diversity, vibrancy and great capabilities. This project presents life in Kibera from a socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental point of view, as seen from an insider’s perspective.

Through these images, we see and feel dynamic moments of everyday life, identity, and individuality, and the uniqueness of representation in moments always seen but often ignored or unnoticed.

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Brian Otieno (born 1993) is a freelance photojournalist who operates an online photo project called “KiberaStories” since 2013. He was raised in Kibera – considered to be one of the biggest most vibrant slum in Africa. He is also a graduate from Multimedia University of Kenya with a Diploma in Journalism and Strategic Public Relations.

Brian’s passion and commitment lie in capturing the visual realities and documenting the norm of everyday life from the people around him and sharing their stories.

His visual stories attempt to go beyond the chaotic appearance and to demonstrate the daily lives in Kibera from socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental perspectives. By doing so, Brian also tries to draw the attention of the public to understand the diversity, dynamics, and inequality of urban life as an observer with a unique point of view through photography.

In October 2016, Brian was among the 12 visual storytellers selected for the World Press Photo Masterclass East Africa Masterclass – the first in Africa, which took place in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also a contributor to Everyday Africa – a collective of photographers sharing images from across the continent aimed at undermining stereotypes and clichés.

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