Trading Places - The Merchants of Nairobi

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Nairobi is a place where slick advertising has made few inroads and shopping malls and supermarkets remain a rarity. As across Africa, that is an opportunity for an outpouring of creativity. This title presents a portrait of the small traders of Nairobi.
In Trading Places - The Merchants of Nairobi, Steve Bloom and his camera venture away from the dynamic metropolis into the neighbourhoods where malls and supermarkets have not yet penetrated. A colourful collection of 138 photographs depicts local traders and their hoardings which, with their hand painted signs, are a quirky and authentic form of popular street graphics. Stores are decorated with pictures of produce sold, from light bulbs to cuts of meat, and brightened with life affirming messages: the eclipse Hair salon proclaims ‘Beauty is your birthright'; the Bora-Bora bar urges people to ‘Never give up'. Trading Places - The Merchants of Nairobi is a tribute to the creativity and generosity of the human spirit. ‘Ghetto life is not easy' says the façade of the Abdalla Store, and whilst Bloom cannot help but agree, his frank interviews and photographs show Kenyans displaying a goodness and charity firmly rooted in their priorities of faith, family, love and community.
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Publication Date2 Nov 2009
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