My World Your World

Year: 1997
Materials: Steel and photograph
Housed: Sold

My World Your World came about as a result of working with the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan. The museum wanted a work that particularly represented with Kalabari people.

We the Kalabari, carry photographs of a relative after they have been buried to let people know that we are related to the deceased and they have passed away.

After being in Nigeria for my holidays I could not help but not notice the increase in the number of oil wells in the Kalabari region. An oil well had been sunk near an island that is particularly sacred because this was where the Kalabari nation started. From this island Kalabari chiefs spread out across the delta with their people to inhabit the islands we now live on. It was always nice to go to this island and to walk around the palm groves and the mounds where our people are buried.

Now we have a roaring oil well beside the island and so much pollution. It is no wonder that in the region, where there are still few modern conveniences, Kalabari people are only living to their fifties.

So I thought I would work with the reality of my home surroundings, a picture of our environment. Instead of a picture of a relative I have an oil well, which a female figure holds as if she is holding the image of a loved one.

Two other figures were added to the woman holding the photograph of the oil well.

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