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Date: April 9th 2009

Dear Friends

Well, its been a while since we've been in touch, but as they say, no news is good news, and we certainly have good news for you. In fact, the more you read on, the better the news gets.

Slum TV started the year with a bang, and in January screened the newsreel produced in December (The Environment Newsreel) for a special screening at the Goethe Institut Nairobi. These screenings in town, which compliment our community public screenings are becoming increasingly popular and the venue was packed.

In February we were back at the Goethe and participated in a ground-breaking show about Art in Public Space, curated by the open source cultural collective African Maximalism. 'It's a pity we only exist in the future' opened on Friday 13 to a huge crowd. Slum TV showed clips from various newsreels and featured alongside other Contemporary Kenyan artists such as the Masaii Mbili collective from Kibera, Hapa TV, the Nyayo Monument Photographers. The broader international scene was represented by DJ Andi Teichmann, the video collective Cultual Video Foundation and the artist Lukas Pusch.

In March, we screened our latest newsreel, The Superlative Newsreel. From the best rapper, to the fastest cart puller, to the best knife sharpener, to the smartest of Mathare, the newsreel represents a side to Mathare that often goes unseen by a broader public. The screening, which we held at Kwa Austin Ground, in the heart of Mathare, attracted the now regular crowd of about 1000. Local rappers and dancers warmed up the crowd and the atmosphere was really fantastic.

Alongside production we have also been implementing some really important changes on an organisational level. In November and December we were frequently visited by a Masters student who was writing her thesis on Slum TV. She produced what is essentially a structural audit of the organisation, detailing what works and what needs to change. It is a very valuable document and we have spent many hours of the new year meeting as a group, discussing and voting on issues ranging from what to do if a member is repeatedly late, to deciding on specific staff responsibilities, to strengthening our financial policy. Much of these decisions are outlined in our, very nearly finished, members handbook, drawn up on a fully participatory basis, and a real testament to the dedication and commitment of our members.

And last but absolutely not least, probably the most fun and exciting development of the past few months. In just one week 13 Slum TV members will go to Austria where they will perform at the Danube Festival (www.donaufestival.at). The theme of the festival this year is 'Fake Reality' and for our performance we are going to build, live and work in a pseudo slum for the duration of the festival. Our base will be in the middle of the festival, we have a bar and restaurant to offer visitors quasi authentic quisine, accomodation for the strong at heart, and of course, we are not just hanging out but working. We will produce TV throughout the festival, both of what is happening, but also the co-production with a local school of our version of Romeo and Juliet and 'Meet the Natives', an anthropological study of the locals of Krems (where the festival is held) by our Slum TV members.

Find out more via the links below, and if you are anywhere near, please come! Hope you are all well and thanks for you continued support. From the Slum TV Team.

http://df.slum-tv.org
http://slumtv.subvideo.tv/
http://www.donaufestival.at/content-1/festival/program/09/slum-tv/view?searchterm=slum%20tv



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