Shifting Ground


Shifting Ground takes a cross-generational look at what it means to be a woman in Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum. Being one of the most overpopulated places on earth, Kibera is riddled with poverty, disease and violence against women. It has become a toxic trap for its nearly 1 million occupants who seek a better life than what the countryside has to offer. Before we traveled there, our research revealed some horrifying statistics: The majority of Kiberan women are sexually assaulted by the time they are 12 years old and more than half are trading food for sex by the age of 16. As a result, young women in Kibera contract HIV at a rate 5 times higher than that of their male counterparts. Only 8% of girls ever get the chance to go to school. But what did these statistics mean on a human level for these women? Did life in Kibera leave them any room for hope?

We decided to explore these questions through the stories of three women – each told by a different director. Daphne follows 10 year-old Makesh, who escaped an abusive home and is now living in the safe house of her school. Hazuki tells the story of Doreen, a teenage mom who found the strength to beat the odds when her boyfriend abandoned her. Andrey introduces us to Jennifer, an HIV-positive older woman who raised both her own children and those of her husband’s three other wives following his death from AIDS. By bringing these stories together in one film, we give viewers a glimpse of the past, present and future of the slum. To learn more about the women, visit our character page.

This slice-of-life film goes behind the statistics and offers a raw, multifaceted and vivid female perspective of Kibera. In the end, what surprised us most were not the extremes of adversity that Kiberan women endure, but the courage, love and sacrifice they show in the face of it. But is this amazing strength enough for any of these women to break the cycles of poverty that plague their community?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *