From August 28, 2018
In my feeble effort to rest and do nothing, I did something I rarely do. On Friday night, I watched a film. The film was titled The Constant Gardener, which was set in Africa. I really had no idea what the film was about before I pressed play. The opening was set in a massive slum. As I watched, I suddenly had the feeling I had been in this slum. Within a few minutes, the film revealed it was set in Nairobi, Kenya, a city I had visited twice, back in 2000 and again in 2011. Moreover, the slum featured in the open of the film and throughout the film was the Kibera slum, which is the largest slum in all of Africa. No wonder the place looked so familiar. I had photographed and filmed extensively in this hellish slum. As I watched this beautifully crafted film, my mind kept creeping back into my experience in the Kibera slum. I thought about how so much of what I saw in Kenya and Uganda (where I made three trips in 2009) was actually worse than the poverty and suffering in Haiti and the dreadful Cité Soleil slum.