“Nigeria is a horrible country – only business is fantastic. Everything here is role playing – a game you have to end up winning, because if I’m not the first one to snap up all the land has to give, someone else will surely beat me to it.”
These are the words of Guillaume, who works for a French oil company and has been living in Nigeria for two years.
While the oil industry in Nigeria has made the wealth of the upper class of Lagos and Abudja, the residents of Nigeria remain trapped underneath of a crushing poverty. They live in places that are polluted, seedy and unhealthy.
The petroleum industry in Nigeria is the largest in the world, and it is the primary generator of GDP in the nation.
Oil was discovered there in the 1950s, and politically and economic strife soon followed as the country began to suffer from corrupt military regimes and complicit multinational corporations.
The petroleum extraction has wrought environmental degradation, and oil-dependent countries in the West have been slow to employ reforms or aid the blighted area.
A new exhibition at the HOST Gallery explores both these sides of the oil industry in Nigeria- the power and the poverty, the filth and the riches.
The photography exhibition is entitled “Tropical Gift”, and the photographer is Christian Lutz who studied photography at the Art School, “Le 75,” in Brussels.
He has since been practicing his art everywhere from the Balkans to South America, and has been exhibited in various countries. His photo-book “Protokoll” won the German Photography Book Prize in 2007.
The exhibit will run from 1 February to 1 March. More information visit www.foto8.com