“Beauty In Hell” is an ongoing personal photographic project started 3 years ago. The project aim is to find and document the beauty present in some of the most difficult, poverty stricken and dangerous realities around the world. Here two of the largest slums in Nairobi (Mathare and Kibera) and a few photos from a refugee camp in the north of Kenya (near Mogunda).
“Beauty In Hell” is a critical and personal artistic response to an increased awareness of living within a system that uses drama everywhere.
I believe we are now unconsciously accustomed to consider an event interesting and noteworthy only if it contains some form of strong contrast, therefore if it is dramatic. Without drama everything becomes boring, dull and not worthy of our time. In simple terms we tend to use drama to make sensationalism. With "Beauty In Hell" I am trying to express, through artistic sensibility, exactly the opposite and show that also within these extremely hard situations beauty is always present… that the beauty inside the human being is present everywhere, even in places that could only be described as real life circles of Dante's Inferno.
These slums are places where it is not only difficult to enter, but where it is risky to walk around. Places where people have almost nothing and where a dollar makes the difference for the day. Shocking and incredible places where only a strong sense of community and solidarity gives these people the strength to carry on, one day after another. Places where there is little or no running water and where the cumulative sewage of hundreds of thousands of people flows through open ditches. Where shelters are made of metal scraps and pieces of wood, which catch fire every now and then. The smell and the stench enters your bones and permeate your heart.After exploring these slums for the past 2 years I can confirm that there is little or no help at all (except for some coalition of poor Catholic charities and some small international organizations).
Real, professional and credible documentation of this plight is nearly non-existent and very hard to find. Corruption, abuse and other violent crimes happen on a regular basis.