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To document the 20-year history of Doctors Without Borders in Kibera, I was asked by the organization to design a 90-page book of photographs telling remarkable stories of transformation, both personal and collective. Kibera is famously known as the biggest slum in Africa, but this book paints a richer picture of a strong community that has come together to battle the once seemingly insurmountable HIV epidemic.

Designer Bard Edlund holding book he designed for Doctors Without Borders

Several of the former patients interviewed now work at the clinics Doctors Without Borders established. Quoting the book's introduction: "Through these narratives, we piece together a message about transformation — what it means to overcome challenges, and how the transformation of a single individual can go on to transform a whole community." The project was executed in just three weeks, with a limited budget.

Spread from photo book designed by EDLUNDART for Médecins Sans Frontières
Book about clinics in Kibera
Two pages from photo book

The editorial lead on the project was Vivian Peng working in Kibera for Doctors Without Borders. She wrote and gathered together all the materials, and managed the printing process as well. The photographs in the book shown on this page, starting with the cover, were taken by Natalia Jidovanu, Sven Torfinn, Natalia Jidovanu again, and Nora Guicheney.

Oh, by the way, "Niko Poa," as the book explains, means "I am okay" in Swahili. For the people portrayed in the book, to be able to say "niko poa" means they are living the lives they once thought impossible.

There are more things to explore on the design page.

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