Probably hundreds of reports have been written, published and promoted about the environmental damage that oil production has produced in the Niger Delta. Thousands of pages have been filled with interviews, research, facts and policy advice on the ecological, economic, political and economic ramifications of uncounted oil spills, corruption and crime associated with the business in Nigeria.
Still, for most people it is still hard to really get what is happening in this specific part of the world. And this is where George Osodi comes in. By now, he is probably one of the most famous Nigerian, if not African, photographers and his breakthrough came with his series of photographs on the Niger Delta. He captures photos of extreme beauty, which often only reveal environmental destruction, poverty and violence at the second glance. Much more accessible than any report or working paper, his images provide an intense glimpse into the challenges that come with resource wealth, especially for local communities.
The International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, UK, featured Osodi in a special exhibition titled "Oil boom, Delta burns" and has published an interview with the artist with corresponding sideshow of his works. Osodi is also portrayed in a longer piece by Al Jazeera, which focuses on his current project, photographing Nigeria's traditional rulers. Enjoy!
Oil boom, Delta burns: photographs by George Osodi from National Museums Liverpool on Vimeo.