Shootback Project

MYSA´s Shootback program is a community based media project which gives the most disadvantaged people a voice: children and youths. With Shootback young people have the chance to tell their own stories about their everyday lives in the Mathare slum by using different forms of media. Equipped with photo and film cameras, pen and paper, Shootback members photograph, film and write about aspects of their lives that they consider important: Family, community life, sport, environmental-, health- and personal issues. In doing so they share their experience in the slums with the rest of the world through articles, photos and documentaries. Shootback promotes and reflects local culture, character and identity and encourages creativity, diversity and individual expression. The media as a tool for self emancipation through self participation is Shootbacks main focus.

In 1997, the Shootback project was introduced. The photographer Lana Wong and MYSA youth leader Francis Kimanzi taught thirty one youngsters basic photography skills. A total of 65 young residents of the Mathare area have been trained and participated in the Shootback program since its beginning. Activities include weekly workshops where youths get lessons in photography, video recording, editing and writing. Thousands of photos have been taken and many of the photos have been submitted to exhibitions, both locally and internationally. Two books have been published and the ninety minutes documentary `Shootback` was released in 2005.

Other achievements of the project include the commercial documentation of sports for social change network activities and the production of several DVD´s. The project also worked with Nike to produce the advertisement “if you let me play”. Most recently the project was involved in the production of the “climate change” which was featured at the Nuff film festival in Norway.

In April 2007 Shootback members – in cooperation with international media professionals – came up with the idea of SLUM-TV, a monthly video magazine shown in public places in Mathare. SLUM-TV documents the lives of the people in the slum and reevaluates those lives through the video camera. In doing so, SLUM-TV follows the main goal of the Shootback program: It encourages participation by providing a media platform for debate, analysis and the exchange of ideas and opinions.

MYSA – Mathare Youth and Sports Association, Box 69038 Nairobi, 00622 Kenya, Telephone: 254-20-780517,

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Shootback Kenya
October 2007