George Osodi is today’s featured artist. His work on the gold mining in Ghana and the extraction of oil in the Niger Delta has reached an international audience, raising awareness of the harsh conditions that workers and the environment have to endure.
b. 1974, Nigeria
De money series no. 1
Fuji crystal archival print
National Museum of African Art, museum purchase, 2011-16-1
Visit the artist’s blog post for more information on the artist and recent projects that he is working on: http://georgeosodi.photoshelter.com/
CNN also did a feature on Osodi’s photography’s in a photo essay. Check it out here: http://cnnphotos.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/26/putting-a-face-on-nigerias-paradise-lost/
Or read more about the Niger Delta and its prevailing devastation here: http://www.goethe.de/ges/umw/prj/kuk/fot/oso/enindex.htm
More recently Aljazeera featured a documentary on George Osodi as part of their series Artscape titled “The New African Photography”. The documentary follows Osodi as he documents the destruction due to the oil spills while also exploring Nigeria’s traditional Monarchs or kings.
Check out this link for more information on the making of the film: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/artscape/2013/04/2013421134016645276.html
(photo via Wikimedia Commons)
How do you interact with the earth? What do you picture it as? How does the earth affect you – and how do you affect it? All of these themes are addressed in Earth Matters. This week, around the web, many of the same themes in the exhibit showed up in news around the world.
- First up, find about a bit more about the exhibit’s five themes by checking out what WETA had to say about Earth Matters and the issues it addresses.
- Earth Matters explores the ways in which African artists have connected to the endless world underground throughout the ages, often through rituals and rites honoring the dead in “Imagining the Underground.” Watch how Paa Joe, the Ghanian master coffin-maker is bringing his own art of honoring the dead to the attention of Great Britain here.
- Through “Material Earth,” the exhibit asks the question: what is earth? How is the definition the same – or different – from person to person? Salt is one answer – get firsthand look at the unique landscape created by salt in these spectacular photos of the salt trade in Ethiopia.
- Artists’ active responses to climate change make up a central theme in Earth Matters – learn more about how the members of the Maasai culture are responding to similar changes while trying to maintain their traditional culture.
Many Maasai, Climate Change May Mean the End of Traditional Ways</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/pritheworld”>PRI's
The World</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>
Watch the full story above.
Kimberley Big Hole (©Entropy1963 via Wikimedia Commons) – Visit Earth Matters for yourself at the National Museum of African Art to see a view of the infamous Big Hole from 1930
This week, issues of the Earth’s natural resources featured prominently around the web:
- A new article discusses Africa’s vast mineral resources – and explores how they have the potential to send national economies booming around the continent.
- Earth Matters explores issues of mining, land disputes, boom towns, and the impact these issues have on the environment. Check out this short documentary about the booming mining business in Ghana that explores the complicated intersections of these issues.
- Read about how Zimbabwe is also attempting to deal with issues of its natural diamond resources, balancing the trade’s potential economic benefits with how to expand the mining and trading responsibly.
Check back here next Wednesday for more links – and share those you’ve found in the comments!
On Monday, the National Museum of African Art celebrated the opening of Earth Matters with a variety of informative and inspiring programs. These included a well-attended exhibit tour with curator, Dr. Karen E. Milbourne, a roundtable discussion including many of the artists featured in the show, and a visually stunning, deeply moving performance piece by Gabonese artist Nathalie Mbo Bikoro of her work, The Uncomfortable Truth. (Keep checking this blog for photos, stories, and links forthcoming from these events.)
The opening also inspired some buzz around the web. Check out:
- A great review of the show from the Washington Post’s Lonnae O’Neal Parker.
- A discussion of the show’s environmental focus on the BBC World Service (from 00:36.32-00:40.50), featuring interviews with artists attending the opening, including Georgia Papageorge and Jerry Buhari.
- A video from the Smithsonian’s Around the Mall blog featuring Earth Matters curator Dr. Karen E. Milbourne discussing the earth art installed around the Mall, a first for the Smithsonian.
Scenes from Zimbabwe, © JackyR, Wikimedia Commons
Earth Day was also discussed around the web with stories about real environmental action in Africa and around the world:
- Read about how African farmers throughout the continent are reconsidering their connections to the land and how they can help save it.
- YouTube spotlighted some of Africa’s most awe-inspiring natural landscapes.
- Check out how restaurants in Ghana are looking to local ingredients to revamp the restaurant scene and celebrate West African cooking.
We hope you get the chance to stop by and see all the ways the National Museum of African Art and the Smithsonian is celebrating the Earth. Until then, keep checking back here every Wednesday for links to more timely, interesting, and surprising Earth matters around the web.