The Cities Alliance will partner with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank to host a unique multimedia exhibition in Washington, DC featuring life in the slums. The exhibit, titled “The Places We Live”, will be held as part of the planned activities for World Habitat Day 2009 on October 5.
The United Nations sets aside World Habitat Day each year in order to raise awareness of the housing and living conditions of the world’s urban poor. The theme for this year will be “Planning Our Urban Future.”
The exhibition is expected to raise awareness of the challenges and urgent housing needs of the cities among a wider audience. It is also aimed at promoting innovative policy approaches to develop affordable housing and sustainable communities worldwide.
The powerful images shown are those captured by the Norwegian photographer Jonas Bendiksen. They bring to life the everyday realities of people living in the slums of Caracas, Venezuela; Jakarta, Indonesia; Mumbai, India; and, Nairobi, Kenya. The exhibition will feature 3-dimensional recreations of the shacks of four families from each of the above cities (16 families total) so visitors can get a realistic idea of the dwellers’ living conditions. At the same time, they will hear stories of daily life told by the people who live there.
The exhibit will be hosted at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. Set up by an act of the United States Congress in 1980, the National Building Museum is one of the world’s most prominent venues for informed, reasoned debate about the built environment and its impact on people’s lives.