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The Curse of Black Gold

September 15, 2008

You live in the Niger Delta. It’s the late 1950’s. A goverment official comes by and says that he now owns your land and shows you a piece of paper you can’t read because it’s in English. You know it’s your land, everyone in the village knows its your land. Your father, his father and countless generations before you have worked on that land and ownership has always been passed on orally. And here is man who has a piece of paper that says the land belongs to him. Black Gold has been discovered.

50 years later and Ed Kashi is documenting the effect. Would it have been so bad to pay people for their land? Would it be so terrible to ask the oil companies with the billions of profit and their evironmentally friendly western facing images and adverts to clean up the places they are extracting the oil from? No it honestly wouldn’t. Between them and the incomprehensible levels of corruption in government, it is no wonder kidnapping, murder and bombings are affecting foreign workers in the area. I don’t condone it, but I certainly won’t call it terrorism.

“A hungry man is an angry man”.
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