22 July 2008

Oil Curse

We here in the developed world tend to look at what oil-dependence has gotten us - war, environmental mayhem, impending economic crisis - and think maybe our addiction to "foreign oil,", heck to domestically produced oil too, is problematic. Tonight on npr I hear this report on a new book by photographer Ed Kashi entitled The Curse of Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta which chronicles the disasters - a politically corrupt dictatorship, grinding poverty, environmental degradation - that have befallen Nigeria due to oil production there. And while the host of the show I was listening to, Farai Chideya, is truly mediocre interviewer, Kashi and the other person she was talking to Omoyele Sowore (an exiled Nigerian human rights activist) made me want to track down the book.

For those of you living in or traveling through lovely Western New York this summer, you can see some of Kashi's work for this project on exhibit at the George Eastman House, here in Rochester. The exhibit runs through September first.

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