AIDOH-girls - The World Social Forum

Peace march from Kibera slum to Uhuru Park

Worries and reality

Before the initiating peace march from the slum of Kibera to Uhuru Park, which set off the World Social Forum, we had a lot of worries about how the procession would be welcomed. The provocative nature of the sculpture and the huge catholic representation made us wonder how people would react. Would they be curious, angry or even aggressive towards this art manifestation, which has met massive criticism and allegations of being blasphemes.

When we turned up with the sculpture, (minus the cross which had been removed deliberately, as a precaution until we knew how people would react) every single head turned and looked at it in wonder. What was that? Some kind of new-age, religious figure? A sculpture against, or even for abortion? The questions were numerous and the brochures explaining the sculpture were quickly ripped away. We were lucky enough to be escorted by two camels in the beginning of the procession, which made the interest for the sculpture even bigger. Everyone wanted a picture of this odd procession.

To our relief, no one acted aggressively towards the sculpture. A few disagreed in the message of the right to contraception and enlightened sexual education, and some disagreed in the cross being used as a mean to promote a political message. But no one acted aggressively and many were very interested in discussing their own, and our perception of the sculpture and its symbolism.

“Another world is possible”

The slogan thundered from thousands of people when we got to Kikuru Park. The place was bursting with colours, music, and dancing, when people from all countries, religions and economical backgrounds came together in one big celebration of humanity and diversity. Whether you agreed with the messages people were telling or not, you got inspired by the passion they had for their beliefs. You admired those who had next to nothing and still went on smiling and dancing as a celebration of life. “We are homeless, but not hopeless” the print on the back of the T-shirts belonging to people from the slum had to make an impression on everyone.

Written by Anna K. Meltesen new-struct/Happenings-and-Projects/2007/KE/ukblog3.htm


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22. January '07: Arrival in Nairobi to the English version of this document   Daily blogs from AIDOH-girls on big and small events in Nairobi The first day in Kasarani to the English version of this document  

Additional Information:
Categories: Daily blogs from AIDOH-girls on big and small events in Nairobi | 2007: World Social Forum, Nairobi, Kenya
Themes: Children´s rights | Criticism of governments | HIV/AIDS | NGO activities | Religion | Sexual education | Women´s rights
Type: Articles
Dates: 22nd January 2007