|Written by Ed Kashi|
|04 Mar 2010|
“I take on issues that stir my passions about the state of humanity and our world, and I deeply believe in the power of still images to change people’s minds. I’m driven by this fact; that the work of photojournalists and documentary photographers can have a positive impact on the world. The access people give to their lives is precious as well as imperative for this important work to get done. Their openness brings with it a tremendous sense of responsibility to tell the truth but to also honor their stories.”
Set against a backdrop of what has been called the scramble for African oil, Curse of the Black Gold is the first body of work to document the consequences of a half-century of oil exploration and production in one of the world’s foremost centers of biodiversity, the Niger Delta. Kashi's photographs expose the reality of oil’s impact and the absence of sustainable development in its wake, providing a compelling pictorial history of one of the world’s great deltaic areas. The photographs capture local leaders, armed militants, oil workers, and nameless villagers, all of whose fate is inextricably linked, illustrating the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty.