The routes themselves are strong signifiers of identity and have strong associations within the city.

Nairobi's diamonds is a project that harvests a by-product of city life, broken windscreens, and shapes this into jewellery designed as matatu route numbers. The project is ongoing

 

 

 

NAIROBI'S DIAMONDS

 

 

Nairobi traffic is notorious and collisions between cars are common. As a result, at night the roads glisten with glass crystals from all the broken windscreens, a kind of urban jewel, forced into existence by the pressures of the city.

Matatus, the minibuses of Nairobi, are notorious for reckless driving and are often  blamed for these crashes. At the same time, they play a key part in shaping an urban identity in terms of design, style, and language. .

 

2011

samhopkins.org

C-PRINT, IMAGE DIMENSIONS 120 x 80cm / FROM THE EXHIBITION 'SKETCHES' IN COOPERATION WITH GOETHE INSTITUT NAIROBI