Slum Art in Kibera, Kenya

French street artist JR has just completed an art project in the slums of Kibera, Kenya, where he covered the rooftops of homes with a material printed with the pictures of eyes of the women who live in them.

The art does have a practical purpose: the material help protect the houses from heavy rain:

Today, after more than a year of planning, 2000 square meters of rooftops have been covered with photos of the eyes and faces of the women of Kibera. The material used is water resistant so that the photo itself will protect the fragile houses in the heavy rain season. The train that passes on this line through Kibera at least twice a day has also been covered with eyes from the women that live below it. With the eyes on the train, the bottom half of the their faces have be pasted on corrugated sheets on the slope that leads down from the tracks to the rooftops. The idea being that for the split second the train passes, their eyes will match their smiles and their faces will be complete.

Link - via monk

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by The Monk.

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Nice work

This is a link to a short documentary on 'Maasai Mbili' a group of Kenyan artist who work and live in Kibera, check it out
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It's so funny to read the comments about graffiti art a few posts earlier (later) and then read these comments. I think it's beautiful and I love when art also has a function. I imagine the people in this community feel pretty proud about the project and just because they're in a slum doesn't mean they can't find joy in beautiful artwork. Imagine how beautiful those women must feel to have their eyes part of such a neat piece of art. I love this to pieces.
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just what the slums need. swell. and it smacks of exploitation. why a french artist in the slums of africa? wouldn't have made neatorama in the slums of paris, that's why
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I think this is pretentious and asinine, and a waste of resources. Is that a helicopter photo? How much was it to rent that? How much more roofing and food and medicine could you have bought with this? Oh wait it's art, a symbolic gesture so a bunch of people living in airconditioning can nod all self-satisfied. This kind of nonsense gives art a bad name.
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