In Women Are Heroes, JR introduces women who sometimes look death in the face, who go from laughter to tears, who are generous, have nothing and yet share, who have had a painful past and long to build a happy future. This is the trailer of the feature documentary film released in France in 2010.
In October 2007, JR went to the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya to photograph and interview the women who became the first participants in the Women are Heroes project. The choice of Kibera and this railway line was symbolic. Nairobi was built around this line. During the post-election events of 2008, the rioters had ripped apart the rails … JR returned there in January 2009 and covered the whole train that travels through Kibera with the eyes of the women photographed. With the eyes on the train, the bottom half of the their faces ware pasted on corrugated sheets on the slope that leads down from the tracks to the rooftops. The idea being that for the split second the train passes, their eyes match their smiles and their faces are complete. After a few seconds of magic, the train continued on its way to Uganda. 2000 square meters of rooftops are covered with photos of the eyes and faces of the women of Kibera, in Kenya. Most of the women have their own photos on their own rooftop and for the first time the material used is water resistant so that the photo itself will protect the fragile houses in the heavy rain season.