In the informal urban settlements of Nairobi, as in similar communities throughout sub-Saharan Africa, a woman’s ability to work and earn income is often limited by her responsibility to care for young children. For many women, regular employment depends on the ability to find safe and affordable day care. However, there is little research on how access to day care affects their ability to engage in income-generating activities, whether formal or informal.
The photographs in this exhibition catalogue were taken by mothers living in Korogocho. Working in small groups and using digital cameras they explored two key questions: How does child care affect your work? What are some of the challenges and some of the solutions?” The women did not just take photos; they also produced captions and engaged in analysis of their photos. The more than 100 images that resulted, the exhibition and this exhibition catalogue serve a type of visual voice to represent a number of their concerns. These concerns include workplace hazards and child well-being, economic insecurity, and environmental hazards. Taken as whole, the photos and captions produced by the women remind us of the significance of participatory visual methodologies in ‘from the ground up’ policy making and community dialogue.