OZY: Eman El-Sherbiny

Alongside an open sewer, a small child is sprinting to catch an afternoon art class, which happens to be taking place at a converted shipping container topped with jagged iron plates. One of the smiling teachers welcomes me inside the two-room structure lined with mostly oil color and mixed media portraits. This is a vibrant art space in Kenya’s Kibera, Africa’s biggest urban slum, and its existence is a minor miracle.

The Uweza Art Gallery is both an exhibition space and an art school, and it’s financially self-sustaining. Here’s what makes that significant. Kibera’s kids — in a community of 250,000 that is under constant threat of disease and offers few opportunities — are freely encouraged to attend a space that nurtures their artistic talents without affecting their studies in regular school. It’s a win for the art gallery and a win for youth self-esteem — but not all of the community’s parents see it that way. …Read More

Students at a Maasai Abstract class | EMAN EL-SHERBINY