“Water of My Land: The Niger Delta's Illicit Fuel Trade”
February 12, 2013 – April 7, 2013
Opening reception: Tuesday, February 12, 7:30 p.m.
"DARK WATERS of the beginning./ . . ./ Foreshadow the fire that is dreamed of.”
- Christopher Okigbo, “The Passage”
On February 12, photographer Samuel James will open an exhibit at The
Half King of his images of rogue oil ‘bunkering’ and refining on the Niger
Delta in Nigeria. Throughout the Niger Delta, fires from hundreds of
illicit fuel refineries burn every night. Concealed deep within mangrove
swamps and raffia forests, men, women, and children manually run these
refineries and sell the fuel downriver.
Opening night will
feature Sam and Stacey D. Clarkson, Art Director at Harper’s Magazine,
discussing the stories and images in Sam’s work.
“Apart from the
lush beauty of his images, what caught our attention with Sam’s story was
his direct engagement with Nigerians eking out a toxic, undercover
living—and the primeval forest itself,” says Half King curator Anna Van
Lenten. “The jungle is as much a character as the oil and the people making
it. Haunting everything is the worldwide, unrelenting thirst for fuel.”
The Half King Photography Series is dedicated to showing exceptional
documentary photography. In tandem with its reading series, it fosters a
dialog between photographers and writers that underscores the importance of
their relationship. Co-curating its photography series are James Price,
photo editor at Newsweek, and Anna Van Lenten, writer and editor.
Samuel James, a photographer and educator from Cincinnati, Ohio, is based in
New York City and Lagos. Since 2008, he has pursued extensive documentary
work in Nigeria, as well as independent projects, and assignments for a
variety of publications. He teaches nonfiction storytelling at Tufts. While
still a student, in 2010, he was awarded the VII Photo/ Exposure Alexandra
Boulat Award to carry out his ongoing project about the Area Boys of Lagos.
The Half King Photography Series is
dedicated to showing exceptional photojournalism. In tandem
with its reading series, The Half King fosters a dialog
between photographers and writers that underscores the
importance of their unique relationship. Co-curating its
photography series are James Price, Photo Editor at
Newsweek, and Anna Van Lenten, writer and editor.