Continuing until April 3, an excellent exhibition of Ed Kashi's photographs from the Niger Delta is currently on at the HOST Gallery in Shoreditch.
The exhibition, titled "Curse of the Black Gold", accompanies the release of Kashi's book of the same name. Kashi skillfully captures the hardship of life in the Niger Delta. Pictures of displaced villagers, their fishing-based livelihoods ruined, are juxtaposed alongside others of glistening rigs that pump up the oil that has caused so much devastation. Even more dramatic are Kashi's photos of Port Harcourt's Trans Amadi Slaughterhouse, the billowing smoke from burning tyres on which thousands of animal carcasses are roasted each day forming a harrowing vision of Hell.
A series of events last week coincided with the launch of the exhibition, including a symposium at the LSE on Thursday where a number of experts working in the Niger Delta discussed the militancy, corruption and whether acting President Goodluck Jonathan could build on the current amnesty or whether the situation there was likely to regress to more fighting.
Photo: Shell Umbrella Girl, Okrika, Nigeria 2006 (Ed Kashi).