Join SDI for the screening of two poignant films: “The Rebel Optimist” and “Undevelopment,” showcasing the work of community leaders, slum dwellers, and media makers who change the world. The film screening will start with an introduction by Arif Hasan, activist, urban planner, writer, and co-founder of the Orangi Pilot Project, and will be followed by a Q&A with youth from Know Your City TV, an international collective of youth living in slums, learning by doing, and making media for social impact.
“The Rebel Optimist” provides an intimate portrait of Pakistani architect and urban planner Perween Rehman and her remarkable work for Karachi’s poor. On March 13, 2013, Perween Rehman was killed when four gunmen opened fire on her vehicle near Pirabad Police Station, ending her 28-year-long career for land and basic services rights for Pakistan’s poor. “Undevelopment” is a film directed and produced by SDI’s own Know Your City TV Nigeria. In this film, KYC TV Nigeria explores the impact of forced eviction, weaving together the stories of eight evictees as they describe life before, during, and after eviction, and making an appeal for more inclusive urban development. Learn more about KYC TV.
About the speakers
Bisol Akinmuyiwa: grew up in Itun Agan informal settlement in Lagos, Nigeria. She was born into a polygamous family with two wives and 11 children. Her mother died when she was 17 years old and, just a week later, her father’s second wife also passed away. She took on the responsibility of raising all of her younger siblings. Bisola had dreamed of studying law, but her father was unable to support her to attend university. She found out about the Federation and joined JEI’s paralegal training. Bisola was one of the founding members of the Federation’s media team (KYC TV) in an effort to better document forced evictions and other rights violations in Federation communities. In January 2019, Bisola was elected to serve on SDI’s Management Committee.
Mohammed Zanna: popularly known as “Vagabond King,” is a community organizer, activist, and a leader of the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation. He is the founding father of the Federation’s Media 4 Change initiative before the coming of KYC.TV, a youth-led effort to support the Federation’s goals through media advocacy. Mohammed also coordinates a grassroots network of homeless and urban poor persons living with disabilities (PLWDs) in Lagos, many who are of northern Nigerian descent, and face multiple forms of exclusion and marginalization. He is Kanuri by tribe, and originally from Borno State.
Arif Hasan is Pakistani architect and planner, activist, teacher, social researcher and writer, and co-founder of the Orangi Pilot Project and Urban Resource Centre where he worked closely with Perween Rehman. Dr Hasans tudied architecture at the Oxford Polytechnic, worked in Europe in architect’s offices, and on his return to Karachi in 1968, established an independent practice which slowly evolved into dealing with national and international urban planning and development issues. He has taught at Pakistani and European universities and lectured widely both in the North and the South. His current and previous involvements are listed below.
This session is part of The Amsterdam Sessions, a week of SDI-hosted events taking place across Amsterdam. Every year, SDI organizes its own conference in a different global city. This gives SDI the chance to talk to entrepreneurs, politicians and professionals on their own terms rather than as guests at someone else’s party, where the urban poor are so often regarded as ornamental, forced to speak on topics from other people’s agendas. Instead, as hosts and experts of their own event, SDI’s leaders can present themselves and their message for what they are: an integral and indispensable part of the solution to our global problems.
The Amsterdam Sessions take place from 7 to 10 October 2019 in Amsterdam. More information and the complete week program can be found at: www.sdinederland.nl/amsterdamsessions.