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Breakpoint 2023: Voices of Kibera Panel

Voices of Kibera panel discusses the transformative impact of blockchain on art and philanthropy, focusing on connecting underserved global communities.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!


The "Voices of Kibera" panel at Breakpoint 2023 highlighted the substantial impact blockchain technology is having on the art community, particularly among underserved populations. The initiative, supported by the Solana Foundation, is part of a broader movement to leverage the decentralization and financial opportunities offered by blockchain for philanthropic and creative purposes. The speakers presented their experiences and insights on how blockchain and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are providing new ways for artists in places like Kibera, Kenya, to engage with the global market directly, bypassing traditional barriers that have limited their reach and financial success.

Key Points:

The Progenitor of Voices of Kibera

Casson Trenor, the founder of the Voices of Kibera project, shared the inception and goals of the initiative. He emphasized that the project seeks to utilize blockchain as a disruptive force to solve problems in often overlooked spheres by technology, particularly in marginalized areas. Casson underscored how the current philanthropy model maintains a scarcity mindset and highlighted how blockchain has the potential to not only change how artists connect with the world but also how communities can better support themselves by following their passions.

On-the-Ground Impact and Experiences

Stella Mwania, from the Human Needs Project, gave a heartfelt testimony on managing Voices of Kibera on the ground. She shared a powerful narrative of a pregnant young woman who was given hope and financial support through the project, illustrating how blockchain technology can have real and immediate impacts on individuals’ lives. Stella brought out the broader vision of reaching more artists worldwide, giving them the same opportunity to monetize their creativity through blockchain ecosystems.

The Artist's Experience: Futwax

Futwax, an artist involved in the project, expressed how blockchain and web3 have enabled dreams to come true by eliminating middlemen from the music industry. By streamlining the distribution process and allowing artists to track revenue streams through coding, he emphasized the revolutionary capability of blockchain technology to empower artists financially and provide a direct link to the global market.

Web3's Accessibility and Potential

Jason Shoramun, an engineer with the Solana Foundation, discussed how the affordability and efficiency of Solana's blockchain allows for global reach and inclusion. He mentioned an upcoming platform from antibodies, a tech partner based in South Africa, designed to help non-developers create web 3 applications easily. This platform, likened to a web 3 Wix CMS, could significantly lower barriers to entry for creators worldwide.

Facts + Figures

  • The Voices of Kibera project has been ongoing for over a year.
  • The project aims to connect underserved communities through blockchain technology.
  • Voices of Kibera is a direct response to the limitations and scarcity mindset induced by traditional philanthropy.
  • Blockchain is used to allow artists to connect to the global marketplace without a bank account, credit card, or physical address.
  • Human Needs Project in Nairobi has managed the project on the ground.
  • At least one artist from Kibera saw life-changing benefits from participating in Voices of Kibera, using stipend funds to prepare for the birth of her child.
  • Artists can directly monetize their music through blockchain without middlemen.
  • Solana Foundation’s support was crucial by providing cost-efficiency and speed in NFT creation.
  • The tech partner antibodies have developed a platform to allow non-engineers to build web 3 applications.
  • The panel urged participants to scan QR codes to support the VOK album, which represents collaborative art and directly benefits the artists.

Top quotes

  • "This project has been going on for over a year now...supporting artists from around the world."
  • "It took me a long time to understand...maybe this [blockchain] can save the world."
  • "You can give things without giving them away. It allows us to use money to enrich an ecosystem."
  • "We are now able to make money from their music...[it's] not a small thing to us."
  • "For we day in Africa, the youth day in Africa, we say this is a Dream Coming True."
  • "Without web 3, I wouldn't be here. Without web 3, these people wouldn't be here."
  • "You should be able to be the creative that shows up and says, 'How do I get my content out there?' That's when we win."
  • "Every track seriously is a banger. Every track is going to be the next club hit that you haven't heard yet."
  • "Voices...that means that is teamwork."
  • "We want to make it happen. And it's already happening down there in Africa."

Questions Answered

What is the Voices of Kibera project?

Voices of Kibera is an innovative project that leverages blockchain technology to empower artists in underserved communities such as Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. It aims to connect these artists to the global market, allowing them to monetize their work directly through NFTs and other blockchain-based platforms. This initiative challenges the traditional philanthropy model and presents a new way for artists to create sustainable revenue streams from their art.

How does blockchain technology impact artists in Kibera?

Blockchain technology impacts artists in Kibera by providing them with a method to overcome traditional barriers such as lack of a bank account, credit card, or postal address. Through blockchain and NFTs, these artists can directly reach a global audience, monetize their art, and retain more of the revenue generated. It empowers them to manage their financial success independently and instantaneously.

Why is the Solana blockchain beneficial for this project?

The Solana blockchain offers several key benefits, making it ideal for the Voices of Kibera project. It is known for its low transaction costs and high-speed processing, which are crucial for enabling microtransactions and facilitating global participation. This affordability and efficiency are particularly significant for artists in regions where traditional financial services are limited, expensive, or inaccessible.

What opportunities does web 3 offer to artists and creators?

Web 3 offers artists and creators an open, decentralized platform to distribute their work without intermediaries, allowing for direct interaction and transaction with their audiences. It provides the infrastructure to create diverse revenue streams, support from communities, and tools that facilitate the monetization of digital art, music, and other creative content through NFTs, tokens, and decentralized marketplaces.

How do non-developers benefit from the new platform by antibodies?

The forthcoming platform by antibodies is designed as a web 3 CMS system, allowing non-developers to create and manage their web 3 applications effortlessly, much like using Wix or similar drag-and-drop website builders. This innovation will democratize access to blockchain technology, enabling artists and creators lacking technical expertise to build their own decentralized applications and marketplaces, thereby fostering a more inclusive web 3 ecosystem.