The Slum Film Festival in Nairobi: Exploring cinematic representation from the urban margins | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1754-9221
  • E-ISSN: 1754-923X



Since the introduction of digital film-making in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, there has been an unprecedented growth of audio-visual production by individuals within these communities despite the fact that venues for local exhibition were virtually non-existent. In 2011, a specific film event called the Slum Film Festival (SFF) was created to both recognize these unique, self-mediated representations from the slums and to screen these films for their own internal audiences. In this article, we will question how mainstream media relegates slum communities to the margins of formal urban life by documenting some of the aspects that led to the creation of this particular film festival and commenting on some of its selected films. By using qualitative information from literature review, first-hand professional experience of the authors in Nairobi and interviews with SFF participants, we will analyse external and internal perceptions of the slums through its films, which compose a ‘slum filmography’ resulting in a more diverse understanding of Kenya’s main urban slums and more complex definitions of identity.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): digital technologies; film festival; identity; marginality; Nairobi; slum
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error