Book Launch: Creative Hustling: Women Making and Distributing Films from Nairobi

Join us for the book launch of "Creative Hustling" by Robin Steedman

Thursday, April 13, 2023 - 14:00 to 15:30

Venue: Dalgas Have 15, DH.Ø.2.71 & 73

Registration is through NemTilmeld



14:00-14:30 Robin Steedman presents Creative Hustling


14:30-15:00 Comments from discussants and response from author


15:00-15:30 Open discussion with the audience


15:30 Small reception


Chair: Thilde Langevang



Ana Alacovska, Associate Professor, Copenhagen Business School

Macon Holt, Postdoc, Copenhagen Business School

Rebecca Namatovu, Assistant Professor, Copenhagen Business School







Creative Hustling is the first book-length study of Nairobi-based female filmmakers- and how their dogged pursuit of opportunities, innovation, and cultural support is defining an industry.

Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is home to something extraordinary and unlikely: in this city, the most critically acclaimed filmmakers- both directors and producers- are women. Yet, across the globe, women make up less than 10 percent of film directors. In Creative Hustling, Robin Steedman takes a closer look at these remarkable women filmmakers, viewing them as auteurs as well as entrepreneurs who are taking the lead in creating a vibrant, and atypical, screen media industry. To understand their achievement, Steedman theorizes hustling as not only a practice born out of necessity but also an inventive labor in its own right- one that can create new spaces of community by carving new entrepreneurial pathways.

Through original empirical field research gathered over eight months in Nairobi, Steedman describes how female filmmakers go about trying to create their films, as well as the challenges they face in distributing those films in their local market. Along the way, she traces the history of the industry over the last fifteen years, the lack of state support for these filmmakers' undertakings, the low social standing of the profession, and the transnational conflicts that arise when Euro-American funding is at the heart of Kenyan cinema.

Creative Hustling is a major contribution to the task of de-Westernizing media industry studies, imparting important lessons about what it takes to create and distribute creative work in a global age increasingly marked by uncertain work.

About the Author

Robin Steedman is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Creative and Cultural Industries in Africa at Copenhagen Business School. She is interested in global creative and cultural industries, and in questions of diversity and inequality in media production, distribution and viewership. She has a PhD from SOAS, University of London.


The page was last edited by: CBS Sustainability // 03/17/2023