Striking Photos Of The Ballet Program Bringing Strength To One Of Africa’s Biggest Slums

Some of the students is getting ready for the class to start

Fredrik Lerneryd spent the last year and a half photographing ballet dancers in the Kibera neighborhood of Nairobi.

Fredrik Lerneryd spent the last year and a half photographing a group of ballet dancers in the Kibera neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya, one of the largest urban slums in Africa.

Dressed in bright blue and purple leotards, their arms and legs craning out as they stretch, Lerneryd’s subjects stand out beautifully against their stark surroundings ― monochrome walls and floors without any adornments. The Swedish photojournalist felt drawn to these dancers not because they are famous, or even professionals. The ballerinas (and ballerinos) in his photos are young students who study dance for fun.

They do so through a program run by U.K.-based charity Anno’s Africa, which provides alternative arts education to over 800 children in Kenya. Taught by Mike Wamaya, who previously worked throughout Europe as a dancer, Anno’s ballet classes focus on both the physical and mental well-being of the 40 or so students who take part, promoting the confidence-building necessary to carry these kids into adulthood.





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