// Anwar is a Kenyan photographer whose images of life in his home town Kibera, Nairobi reflect the vibrance as well as challenges in his environment. Anwar shared a set of photos of a special dance performance by a local ballet programme for children run by Project Elimu in Kibera, Nairobi.
Anwar first picked up a camera while in high school and hasn’t looked back since. He specialises in documentary photography, photojournalism, street photography, and portraiture. He often tells the stories of his community and purposefully shows their will to constantly better themselves.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
Henry David Thoreau
What draws you to art?
“The mere fact that art is a unique gift we are born with is the same reason that attracts me to talent.”
What impressed you most about these dancers?
“The ability of these children to tell their story, express their emotions was magical.”
According to Anwar, when you grow up in Africa, parents are almost always convinced that education is the key to life and there is no alternative to that. It is true that education is important, but, Anwar feels, talent is equally important.
A Billion Dreams was an event organised by Project Elimu in December 2019. Project Elimu is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes art education for children living in Kibera and beyond. The centre organises different programmes such as ballet dance, creative writing, digital literacy, drawing, craft skills and health education. It aims to help educate parents about the importance of identifying, nurturing and supporting children’s talents at an early stage. This particular performance event was also meant to raise funds to help support girls with sanitary towels, something that is very costly for low income girls and women. The provision of information and “dignity kits”, such as sanitary towels, in the informal settlements of Nairobi is thus very important for the students.
The Project Elimu ballet programme is very much in demand in Kibera, with about 200 active ballet students, and a growing number of interested children. Until this year, the children were dancing on a hard earthen floor covered with a paper carpet. Thanks to donations, the Project was able to upgrade to a locally built portable floating dance floor that is safer for the children´s joints.
Images are cropped for layout. Click on the photos to see the original version.
All photos © ANWAR SADAT
You an see more of Anwar´s photos on his Instagram page (@sirdart_)
Click here to see a short video clip of the Project Elimu dancers #WeDanceOn
The project Elimu has ongoing fundraising for supporting the arts programme in 2021. Perhaps something for your Christmas giving plans?