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News: George Osodi - Kings of Nigeria captured the oil devastation...

News: George Osodi - Kings of Nigeria captured the oil devastation...

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Kings of Nigeria Having captured the oil devastation, he now photographs Nigeria's traditional monarchs, to offer a positive way forward.
George Osodi: Kings of Nigeria
Filmmaker: Katharina von Schroeder

George Osodi's photo project, Oil Rich Niger Delta, and the resulting book of stunning pictures, Delta Nigeria – The Rape of Paradise brought attention to the environmental problems in the area and made Osodi one of Nigeria's most sought-after photographers.
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"I think it's my responsibility as the man with the camera to find a way to represent this [situation], so that it becomes appealing to whoever sees it," explains Osodi. "At first sight you're like, 'what a beauty', but then behind it is a huge Armageddon. It's like hell on earth."

This film follows Osodi as he continues to document the devastating effects of oil spills in the wetland region and as he tackles his latest project, about Nigeria's traditional Monarchs.

"[There are] frequent clashes among different ethnic groups," says Osodi. "Lots of people have lost trust in their identity. I felt it was important that we see this diverse culture as a point of unity instead of seeing it as something that should divide us as a nation.

"The easiest way I could approach this was to look at the monarchy structure in the country because they are closer to the people than the governors."

Filmmaker's view
By Katharina von Schroeder

Shortly after George and I met for the first time he told me, "I am always on the move. Can you keep up with me?"

"Sure," I replied.

Constantly being on the move is the only possible way to make a film about George's work. For his numerous projects he has to travel the roads of Nigeria in all directions and hardly ever spends more than two days in one location, determined to capture a unique moment or tell a relevant story.

As soon as my cameraman and I jumped into George's car, he drove around for hours to show us his beloved country, Nigeria. Through the car window we saw the thick mangrove forests, serene rivers and the most beautiful scenery passing us by.

Palm trees, reflected in oil [George Osodi]  
After some hundred kilometres the mood changed as we entered Delta State. There were checkpoints with heavily armed soldiers and policemen stopping the car every few kilometres.

The oil-producing state is the "hen that lays the golden egg" as George puts it. He explained that in the past, the exports from the region had mainly been palm oil and other agricultural produce, whereas now crude oil and petrol account for most of Nigeria‘s national income.

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