Mathare Valley slum (Nairobi) A.D. 2011

For the Remote Control series some of the children of Mathare joined me on a photo shoot, turning up well dressed and carrying a favourite, or only toy. As they walked through the area of corregated dwellings I handed them a remote control i had brought withme in preparation and they instinctively grasped the significance and started pointing it towards areas that they wished to see change to improve their existence. 




Despite the harsh living conditions I have recognised the high level of dignity shown by the Mathare residents and my Slum Glam series attempted to depict this. A hand painted, makeshift wooden chair rests in front of a multi coloured shack wall that the women have decorated using brightly coloured designs. Wearing their best clothes and with an apparent sense of joy each they poses for my camera.

SLUM GLAM (2011)

SLUM GLAM (2011)



"Down in this valley everyday dreams are being muted, every daydream becomes a better reality, to pretend not to see or hear to dare not to speak out, a secret well kept by millions, a silent social dysfunction that shuts up even the will to complain, what the wealthier citizens want is to rise above this shit; These are not their neighbours but their enemies, the process of social differentiation runs faster than solidarity, It's crueller."

Claudio Torres - Mathare (Nairobi 2010)

"Now we go into the vulnerable realm of an impossible privacy, constantly threatened and modified by all that's happening outside; rooms as decorated trenches of a never-ending battle; 9 square meters where to try a claustrophobic but worthy independence, where to keep dignity at low cost. Now focus in the flowerpots; the picture is a transparent flowerpot allowing you to check every corner of these rooms...look again: the dwellers are the flowers."

Claudio Torres - Mathare (Nairobi 2010)