Probably one of the best bus journeys I’ve had… not that I’ve had many but travelling through Rift Valley and through the vast landscape of the Mara is incredible, the different cultures across different villages and all the hard work you see along the way. The whole trip took just over 10 hours to get from Nairobi to Rongo so it was a quite a long journey, but it was great fun and we also had a few students from Rongo Univsersity on the travel so it was great to get to know some new people.
Exhibition day – today saw our finalising of both our time at Kenyatta University and the project itself, luckily we had finalised the project around 2pm the day of the presentation, cutting it close. It was an eventful day which included speeches, music and a lot of food a drink. It was sad to say goodbye to the guys but at the same time we all really enjoyed our time working alongside the students of KU. I really think every ones projects went well and successful. The only set back with the concentration of the showcase itself, although a it was a great environment the work wasn’t fully appreciated after all of the hard work we had put into it. Tomorrow we move on to Rongo travelling through Rift Valley on a school bus for around 8/9 hours to start up a new project with other studen
Two long days and nights getting together all of the footage – over nine hours in total – for roughly a 15 minute piece of work. The exhibition is coming up on Saturday so time was ticking to get the production done quickly. The first day of edit started 9am sharp at the university and followed us back to the Hostel until we crashed around 5am, so a pretty long session, for us to then carry on the following day.
The Friday night Amos, a worker at our hostel saved our backsides with the editing; we had footage spoke in Kikuyu, a tribal language that isn’t so common. He aided me with the translation for the subtitles late into the night prepped for the morning. While this was happening Oscar worked away on the drama side of the production which is turning out ace.
Two consecutive production days, we filmed our second half of the docudrama today – the intertribal marriage – the topic is pretty taboo so filming such a thing really intrigued the student and so many people were happy to help out and get involved with the filming. We shot inside a church and put on a fake wedding with a priest, wedding dress, a congregation – the lot. It went without any problems and it was a pretty powerful scene to shoot. The church was still open to those who pray throughout the day which led to a hectic amount of back noise of people crying, chanting and preaching out loud over the production. But to fair it worked in our favour adding to the prohibited act taking place.
In the evening Oscar and I had soooo much footage to go through and start with an edit, we stayed up most of the night trying to compile it all together and get a head start in preparation for Saturday.
Today was pretty crazy to say the least… We went out on production shoot to conduct the interviews with the students and the local people in the market just across the train track from the university. Ranging from young to old we interviewed people about their experiences with tribalism, the market where we conducted the interview was an incredible place, pop up stalls created with thick branches and tarpaulin, goats running around and people just selling their crop. You start to realise after talking to these people just how problematic and just how troubled their lives have been through poverty and through tribal culture over the years; it also shows just how the situation is affecting the young people of Kenyatta University with social and career aspects in their lives. The majority of the younger generation we spoke to dislike trial culture and believe that it is causing more problems than it is worth today.
Grouping back in the class room we went through some amazing footage collected over the day, and prepared for the day tomorrow with a plan on shooting the fiction side of our docudrama. Reflecting on the day I’ve had wakes you up to the intensity, dangers and the beauty of Kenya.
Today was the first meet with the students of Kenyatta University; the guys are pretty awesome! After a pretty intense game of ‘cheerleading rock paper scissors’, including around 20 students going wild, it made a good icebreaker to get to know one another. Following the game Peter held a lecture discussing what defines community and empowerment and then a discussion led by Fred about SEMA Media, what they do and who they are.
The day carried on and we found our groups and began talking about the problems that are in Kenya and in what way can we depict it through video. We spent a good hour or so talking about problems locally such as the biker crime, alcohol abuse and so much more. After debating and discussing which would be best we decided on tribalism, Nairobi has over 40 different tribes living around the area and it has seen some conflict over the years, it has caused tension between the communities and disrupts the students working lives and communication with one another. It also hinders peoples career life causing unemployment due to tribal relations, what we are going to reflect on is the way that tribalism could be a dying out thing in the younger generations and to examine both the negatives and positives of being within a tribe. As this is a fairly soft topic among a lot of people we are going to create a short drama based production to coincide with the interview production a fiction based / docudrama.
Oscar and I spent the night reflecting on what we had spoken about during the day and the project that we have coming up. Getting a head of the game we wrote up a script and a plot line for the drama production we will be shooting, basing it loosely on Romeo and Juliet we will show a mixed tribal marriage and its repercussions with family and the community, which then will link in to the interviews we will conduct tomorrow.
A day of acclimatising – we set off in the morning to see what is around locally, first visiting a local supermarket for some of the crew to pick up sim cards. Moving through the city you really start to see how great the culture and people of Nairobi are. The vast difference in society and way of life is an amazing sight to see, the people of Nairobi are a such happy folk and set in their ways perfectly. The crazy thing is, the style they do it, they have swag! You never stop being amazed and the things you can see on such a diverse scale not forgetting the wildlife, just around the town and locally, bamboos just doing their thing, and herons looking the size of dinosaurs flying through the air. It really is a fascinating place to be in!
Getting a scope around the guesthouse were are staying in is charming, there are painting of various animals created by local artists on the walls surround the house; a hippopotamus, elephant, giraffe and cheetah looking stylish. The surrounding plant life is great and fruit isn’t in short supply with a mango tree perched directly above us.
The evening meeting took place where we were briefed about the happenings tomorrow at Kenyatta University (19/01/2016) as a group we need to collaborate with the students of KU to discuss topics arising in Kenya and produce a video, audio and photography production based around the topic of community. Roll on tomorrow!