Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Black Tide" by Robert Goethals

Please check out this article by Robert Goethals on the Forward Thinking Museum's blogsite about the oil crisis in the Niger Delta.

Thank you Robert!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Work By Gideon Mendel

Recently published in the Guardian UK's Weekend Magazine, photographer Gideon Mendel's work "When the Floods Came" chronicles the devastation in Pakistan following the July flood. From Gideon: "'When the Floods Came' is the new chapter of my long-term project on climate change and flooding. Six weeks after the floods first hit Pakistan I traveled with the charity ActionAid in the Sindh province. At a point when those floods had long left the pages of the world’s media I found myself in a devastated landscape where flood waters were still rising and communities were trying to save themselves from the deluge. Never in recorded history has a flood of such magnitude swept through Pakistan. More than 20 million people have been affected, around 1.8 million homes were destroyed and over seven million people still need food and shelter. Untold damage has also been done to the country’s agricultural land and infrastructure. According to the UN more people have been affected than the world’s last three great disasters combined, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake." Gideon also produced a short film on the subject.


Foto8 Launch Party, The Legacy of Oil

To celebrate the new issue of 8 Magazine (which coincides with the magazine's 8th anniversary), Foto8 is throwing a launch party on Friday, November 12 at Host Gallery in London. Please RSVP to events@foto8.com if you plan on attending.

If London isn't a possibility, definitely check out the new issue, which is dedicated entirely to the subject of oil. From the recent spill in the Gulf to the ongoing struggles in Nigeria and Venezuela, 8 Magazine showcases the work of numerous photographers who are committed to documenting the privilege and the poverty associated with oil. Included in the issue is an interview with Ed about his work in the Niger Delta. Go here for a sneak peek.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Amateur Photographer UK Interview

Ed was recently interviewed for an article in Amateur Photographer UK about Curse of the Black Gold. He speaks to how he got involved in the project and what it was like on the ground in the Niger Delta, specifically speaking to the issues presented to a photojournalist in a place where bribes are an everyday reality. There are also some great tidbits about Ed's choice of gear and his thoughts on the future of still photography.


Monday, October 18, 2010

New Niger Delta Interview & Story on VII The Magazine

If you have not seen VII The Magazine, the VII Photo Agency's online magazine, then please do so. It is less than one year old and we see it as an exciting and innovative approach to visual storytelling in the digital age. I have just published my first piece there, which is about my work and advocacy about the Niger Delta.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gallery Exhibition, Jersey Islands, Britain

Curse of the Black Gold will be on exhibit as part of the upcoming 6th Jersey Amnesty International Human Rights Festival in the Jersey Islands, Great Britain. The opening is November 15, 2010 at 7:00pm at the Jersey Art Center in St. Helier. For more info, check out the website.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

UN Exonerates Shell for Pollution in the Niger Delta

As reported in the Guardian UK on Sunday, the United Nations Environment Program will all but exonerate Shell for its pollution in the Niger Delta since oil was discovered there in the 1950s. As you know, this is an issue near and dear to Ed and all of us familiar with his work.And we are outraged. The study, paid for by Shell and the Nigerian government, will claim that spills have only been occurring over a nine-year period and are mostly caused by “bunkering,” people trying to illegally steal oil from the pipelines. All of the findings are in direct conflict with what environmental groups say, and what Ed’s photos illustrate, has been occurring for decades. Communities in the area admit that bunkering is an issue but only recently and not to the scale that Shell claims. In my opinion, that’s completely beside the point. Shell and the Nigerian government have created a situation in the Niger Delta that is so deplorable that some people (and this a fraction of the population) resort to crime. The government then gets to blame the entire situation on the people; it's an age-old tactic. It is the ultimate in racism and injustice. Shell and the corrupt Nigerian government can now step back and say, “Hey, they’re killing themselves. It’s not our fault.” This isn't to say that criminals are justified in their actions, it's just that this argument completely ignores decades of systematic oppression of people who haven’t received a dime from the oil-rich government.

Of course Shell and the Nigerian government are going to try to use this small, insignificant problem (as compared to the damage that Shell has caused in the Niger Delta for decades) as the scapegoat, that’s to be expected. The real shocker here is that the UN bought it (and I mean that in every sense of the word) hook, line and sinker.

The claim that the pollution has only occurred for nine years is also a direct offence to the memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa, a political activist who was hanged in 1995 after a peaceful protest against the pollution caused by Shell. That was 15 years ago. Please go to www.remembersarowiwa.com to learn more about his story and the latest news about the case against Shell.


Friday, August 20, 2010

The 37th Frame Interviews me about my work on the environment

The The 37th Frame, as part of the Guardian's website, has made live a recent interview about my environmental work from Madagascar and the Niger Delta. Please listen and share this with others, especially young people who must be made aware of what is happening to our world and its implications for everyone's future. Thank you.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chautauqua Lecture Available for Viewing

As posted earlier, Ed recently spoke at the Chautauqua Institute. His entire presentation is now available to view online. He focuses on his most recent work including Madagascar, the Niger Delta and his book Three. Definitely stick around for the Q&A at the end, as you’ll get to hear Ed speak openly about his work in terms of how he chooses projects, what it’s like in the field, and how the focus of his work has grown and changed over the years. He also speaks candidly about his views on war and conflict, life in the modern digital world and the importance of taking risks.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Through Positive Eyes by Gideon Mendel

Through Positive Eyes is a website by photojournalist and AIDS activist Gideon Mendel. I urge you to look at this site and get involved. Gideon was one of the first photographers to chronicle the devastating impact of AIDS/HIV on Africa, his native land, and has since charted an evolutionary and revolutionary coarse in his own artistic approach, moving from showing Africans as victims to survivors.


Bill Ryan's Avalon Project Interview With Ed Kashi

Yesterday I was interviewed via Skype about my Niger Delta work and more importantly, the issues surrounding that work. Here is the link to Project Avalon and here is the direct link to the Interview with Ed Kashi


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ed Kashi on NPR website discusses his new story on the Punjab

Please check out this strong piece put together by Claire O'Neill of NPR's Picture Show Blog. There are photos and excerpts from an interview I did with Claire last week about my new National Geographic story on Pakistan's Punjab province.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ed Kashi joins the VII Photo Agency!

For those of you who have not heard the news yet, I am quite excited to announce that as of today I have joined the VII Photo Agency as a full member. The future looks bright and I am looking forward to working with such a great group of photographers and staff at an agency dedicated to so many of the values and goals I am also committed to. Stay tuned for more developments and here is a link to an interesting mention about this news. Thanks, Ed


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Clip of Ed's Lecture at Lumix Festival in Germany

Here is a clip from my recent presentation at the Lumix Festival for Young Photographers in Hannover, Germany. Spill the Beans was kind enough to post this.

Ed Kashi at Lumix


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Madagascar on BBC online

Related to my ongoing work on environmental issues, please look at a new portfolio of work from Madagascar that the BBC has published.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ed on ABC News

Yesterday Ed was interviewed on ABC News about oil, the environment and sustainability as it relates to his work in the Niger Delta and Madagascar. He also spoke about his role as photographer in the landscape of human rights and social change.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

NYU Symposium on Monday June 21 with Nina Berman, Larry Towell and Ed Kashi

The lecture season continues for me and I'm very excited to mention an upcoming event next Monday, June 21st at NYU, with myself, Nina Berman and Larry Towell. Please see link below to find out more. It will be a stimulating and lively discussion about photography's ability to impact human rights.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Prix Pictet Exhibition Opening this Thursday in Lausanne, Switzerland

This Thursday June 17th in Lausanne, Switzerland, I will be at an opening of a group show with my work included, to celebrate two years of the Prix Pictet Photography Award. Come if you can or at least check out the website of the Musee de l'Elysee.


Looking for a few great editors

Looking for multimedia/video editors in New York or New Jersey for ongoing, project based work. If you have recommendations, please email studio@talkingeyesmedia.org .


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ed Appears on RT.Com to talk about Oil, the Niger Delta and the Gulf Spill

Catch my interview from earlier today on RT.Com, an English language Russian TV station. The subject is oil and the Niger Delta in the context of the Gulf disaster.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oil in Nigeria and the BP spill

More oil news to think about...read this very strong article about oil in Nigeria, that appeared in today's London Observer


Michael Watts at Kings College, London June 9th

My dear friend and colleague, Professor Michael Watts, will be giving a lecture at King's College in London on June 9th. His knowledge of politics, geography and consequences of oil are not to be missed!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

"This is a nightmare."

As spoken by Philippe Cousteau after a dive into the continuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Please watch this and pass it along. Diving into the Gulf oil spill


Monday, May 24, 2010

Interview with Miss Rosen about the Niger Delta



Caprice Horn Gallerie in Berlin

"Fuck Ups, Fables and Fiascos" is an exhibition about powerful metaphors, stereotypes and fairytales about justice and tolerance. This exhibition will be at Caprice Horn Galerie in Berlin from July 6 to August 6, 2010. 

There will be a few pieces from Curse of the Black Gold being exhibited. For more info: CAPRICE HORN


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Exhibition in Lausanne in June

If you will be in Lausanne, Switzerland from June 18 to July 25, 2010, please check out this group exhibition that includes my work from Madagascar.
Prix Pictet Exhibition


Exhibition in Lausanne in June

Musee De Lysee


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Amnesty International UK Photo Exhibit

For the month of May, Amnesty International UK is exhibiting my work from the Niger Delta to mark a key moment in Amnesty’s campaign against Shell's business practices in Nigeria. They will be showing images from Curse of the Black Gold


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another Day, Another 5,000 Barrels

That's one barrel every 17.28 seconds- I did the math- and the experts still aren't sure when it's going to stop. The sheer magnitude of the spill is almost incomprehensible, and the fact that 22 days later the leak is still not fixed is astounding. How much more evidence do we need that our way of life, including (but not limited to) our dependence on fossil fuels, is not sustainable? The true cost of our dependence on oil is not what you see at the pump; it is in the human lives and the environmental impact; it is in the wars both civil and international; it is in the pollution of human and wildlife habitats. This disaster alone killed 11 workers and untold numbers of marine and avian life and threatens the already fragile Louisiana wetlands.

With the human population growing at an exponential rate, and with no signs of faltering, the question of the sustainability of the human race becomes more and more troubling. Once the spill is cleaned up and collective memory fades and perhaps new safety measures are put into place to prevent a similar disaster from occurring, the fact remains that some day in the not so distant future, the oil is going to run out. So we're killing and plundering and wreaking environmental havoc for a resource that won't be around much longer. Where's the logic?

FYI: If you're interested, there's a video on YouTube of the underwater pipeline spewing oil into the Gulf. There's no sound and you should start the video at about the two minute mark, but it's worth a look.


The New York Photo Festival

The New York Photo Festival is happening this weekend May 13-16. On Saturday May 15 at 11am, Ed is presenting a compelling lecture called "The Power of Color in Photojournalism." This is a unique chance to hear Ed speak about his work as it relates to the transition from film to digital and the use of color in visual storytelling. Tickets are $15 which gets you into all of Saturday's events or you can buy a $45 weekend pass. Come join us!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Woodstock Photography Workshops

Ed's teaching a workshop entitled "Visual Storytelling in the Digital Age" at the Woodstock Photography Workshops July 23-25. It's going to be an information-packed weekend ideal for anyone interested in visual storytelling and multimedia. Space is limited so sign up now to ensure your spot. We'd love to see you there!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Guardian UK Online about My Environmental Work

Last week I was interviewed by Eric Hillaire of the Guardian Online in the UK. He has produced a strong piece contrasting the environmental work I've done in the Niger Delta about oil and my Madagascar work, which focuses on sustainable development.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Addendum to NIMBY

The New York Times is reporting today that Congress has given the Cape Wind project the go ahead. While the debate will continue over the proposal and may end up in the courts, this is still an important step for the US towards mitigating our reliance on fossil fuels. In response to a Facebook post about the project, Ed made an important point, saying "regardless of this particular proposal, we must proceed strongly to develop wind power offshore. It just makes sense and couldn't possibly cause the problems that oil, coal and gas do in extracting our power." Rhode Island has also been working on it's own proposal and hopefully the ruling today will pave the way for other states to follow suit.


Taking on Chevron

Oil giant Chevron has requested a copy of over 600 unused hours of footage filmed by documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger for his movie Crude, which chronicles the lawsuit filed by Ecuadorians against Texaco (now owned by Chevron) for contamination of local drinking systems and pollution of the Amazon. Chevron is hoping to use the footage to build their defense against paying reparations to indigenous Amazonian communities. Berlinger is fighting the request but if granted, it has far reaching effects on the world of documentary filmmaking. The question is, would this request, if granted, prevent future filmmakers from attempting to take on giant corporations? Could this change the way a filmmaker tells their story for fear of a similar outcome?

I watch a lot of documentaries, actually, I pretty much only watch documentaries. Generalized movies about global warming and environmental degradation are a plenty these days, but films like Crude, ones that name names and take on the omniscient, seemingly impenetrable giant corporations are rare because of the money and power they are up against. Don't get me wrong, all of these films are important to the cause but to hold major polluters accountable for their actions are crucial to instituting large-scale change. This latest move by Chevron is frightening but not surprising- it is merely another example of what filmmakers who take on these subjects are up against. I highly recommend seeing this David versus Goliath film.



When speaking with Ed this morning about the latest news on the environmental front, he reminded me of a phrase I heard as a child growing up amongst conservative Democrats in Massachusetts- NIMBY, which stands for Not In My Back Yard. Affordable housing for the poor? Great. A new wastewater treatment plant? We need that...just not in my backyard. In other words, just don't put it where I can see it and please be sure it doesn't interrupt my life in any way. And the news yesterday from the New York Times regarding the fight over US offshore wind farms is no different. Not so coincidentally, yesterday's paper also contained an update about the broken Gulf of Mexico pipeline that is leaking 42,000 gallons of crude oil into the sea every day and is now threatening the Louisiana coastline. Couple that with the recent news from West Virginia where 29 coal mine workers were killed in what is being called the worst coal mine accident in 25 years. With all the health, safety and environmental problems with our dependence on fossil fuels, it seems like a no-brainer to embrace new forms of cleaner energy. Europe and China have done so already and the US really needs to step up to the plate. If not, we'll all be looking at more than wind farms in our backyards.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nice Shout Out from London Word

London Word


Monday, April 19, 2010

Discerning Eyes Lecture in NYC April 20th

Life takes us around interesting turns. I was supposed to be in London this week for an opening of my exhibition on work from Madagascar but the volcano has grounded me in the US. Instead, I've been given this opportunity to join two colleagues, Yunghi Kim and Timothy Fadek, at a lecture at the CUNY Baruch school tomorrow, April 20th at 6pm. Please come and join in the conversation. I will be humbly filling in for Travis Fox who was called away on assignment. So it goes.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Madagascar work in London

Ed Kashi in conversation with Francis Hodgson and Mark Jacobs

Wednesday 21 April, doors open at 6.00 pm, the talk will begin at 6.30 pm.

Diemar/Noble Photography
66-67 Wells Street, London W1T 3PY

As part of the 2009 Prix Pictet Commission exhibition, Madagascar - A Land Out of Balance, photographer Ed Kashi will be talking about his work to renowned photography critic Francis Hodgson and Director of Azafady Mark Jacobs.

Admission to this event is free, but booking is essential as places will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. To reserve your place, please contact the Prix Pictet Secretariat by Friday 16 April:

E pictet@candlestar.co.uk
T 020 8741 6025


Madagascar - A Land Out of Balance

The Prix Pictet Commission is an invitation for a photographer, chosen from the Prix Pictet shortlist, to create a portfolio of images related to the theme of the award in association with a charity supported by Pictet. For 2009, Pictet chose to work with Azafady, a UK charity and Malagasy-registered NGO that helps the poorest communities in Madagascar develop sustainable ways of living and increase local access to healthcare and education.

American photographer Ed Kashi was awarded the 2009 Commission. The resulting portfolio of photographs, Madagascar - A Land Out of Balance, will be premiered at Diemar/Noble Photography in London from 20 April – 1 May 2010.

Kashi’s pictures chronicle the compromised beauty of this threatened island, described as one of the greatest present-day ecological disasters yet recorded. As the writer Helena Drysdale says in her catalogue essay to accompany the exhibition, these photographs show a deteriorating situation ‘In the south, the failure of the rains has speeded up the desertification. The Masoala Peninsular has become a national park, but this has not prevented the pillaging of the rainforests by illegal loggers – aided by French shippers and the Malagasy government – or the subsistence farmers’ slash and burn. Madagascar’s soil continues to bleed unquenched into the Indian Ocean, and the Great Red Island slowly but inexorably dies.'


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vote for our Oxfam America Animation

Posted on Oxfam's FB page - Oxfam America We're honored to have our
"Follow the Money" video a finalist in the Nonprofit Video Awards! Have
you voted yet? http://bit.ly/90w39b

To Vote:
Non-Profit Video Awards - CLICK ON VOTE TAB IN VIEWER
WINDOW. Find "Follow the Money" and click on the green thumb. I don't
know if you have to watch the whole video for the vote to register, but I
did just in case.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Sean O'Hagen Essay on Curse of the Black Gold

I almost feel like apologizing for the continued UK coverage of my recent visit to London and my work on the Niger Delta. Before you all start to get sick of this, please remember it's about advocating for this issue and finding new ways, any way quite frankly, to get the message out about what is happening in the Niger Delta. I am the sideshow. Read on and get involved. Safe energy, be smarter and care. The writer Sean O'Hagen interviewed me at the Frontline Club and is a wonderful journalist working for The Guardian


Friday, March 19, 2010

Podcast of Ed's interview at HOST Gallery

Ed has just finished an incredibly busy, but productive trip to England for lectures, workshops and gallery openings (remember, Ed’s exhibit will be open at HOST Gallery until April 3rd). All of these were thrilling and rewarding, especially being able to work with such brilliant collegues as Paul Lowe, Paul Collier and Dauda Garuba.

We’re pleased to announce that Foto8 released a podcast of Ed's interview with Colin Jacobson, discussing the growth of his career, the role photojournalism plays in our world and what all of this has meant to him over the years. The hour and a half long interview is educational, insightful and well worth the time for anyone interested in photojournalism, photography and the impact we can have on our world. Foto8 also published a multi-media slide show of Curse that we're all very proud of.

Please, come give it a listen.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Niger Delta Watch is Live!

Following a successful pre-launch event this week in London I am pleased to announce Niger Delta Watch open for reports. They would like to now ask you all to become partners in this ground breaking initiative and to start to work with them by uploading reports and adding information to Niger Delta Watch. They have set up a page for Niger Delta Watch called 'Partners' and would like as many organisations, NGO's and community organisations as possible to join in. In return there will be a link to your organisations website and some information about it. Please forward this message to your networks and encourage people to get in touch with them if they are interested in becoming participants in Niger Delta Watch. They look forward to raise the voices of communities in the Niger Delta and to show the world what is happening in this diverse, fascinating and troubled part of the world.


Madagascar Image in Guardian today

The Guardian does an image page every week and one of my favorite images from my recent work in Madagascar was profiled today. I also talked about "shooting from the hip".....Best Shot


Friday, March 12, 2010

Recent News and Our Appreciation

The week in London is over for Ed and certain organizations stand out above the rest, whether it is due to their professionalism, reputation, seniority or simply effort. In recent days we have had some reviews that have left us all humbled and deeply appreciative.

First, is the excellent gallery put together by Lucy Davies at the London Telegraph, which showcases the heart breaking dilemma faced in the Niger Delta and helps spread knowledge that this cause deserves.

The Guardian, another London based newspaper, has also dedicated a piece of their website to exhibit some of Ed’s work, helping us spread the word for the people of Niger Delta.

Charlie Beckett, who took part in and wrote a blog post about the recent event at the London College of Communications. It let us know that people do indeed listen, and people do indeed care about the evolving nature of the relationships we share with NGOs, the nature of photojournalism, the conflicting emotions with advocacy work and making a living, and indeed the nature of media in this age of information flux.

We’re always happy to know that we’re making a difference - that people are actually moved by the work done in the studio, and we’ve seen that recently in a few fantastic posts.

Run Riot published a great synopsis of “Curse” as did Photographylot. Please visit their sites, it's important to keep the online photographic community alive.

Again, thank you very much. We’re truly honored and humbled.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Comments from Excellent Symposium in London's LCC

Yesterday I took part in an important, inspiring and illuminating conference that Paul Lowe orchestrated at the London College of Communication. We had a jam packed audience and the discussion centered on photojournalism and NGO partnerships and issues around this ever growing and evolving dynamic. Excellent work Paul! Below is a write up by Charlie Beckett, one of the participants and an important voice out of London.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A List of Exciting Events in London

Ed is on a whirlwind tour of London this week, taking part in a series of events related to his work in the Niger Delta and organized around a month long exhibition that opened tonight at the HOST Gallery and a day long symposium taking place tomorrow at the London College of Communication. If you are anywhere near the area, all are going to be well worth attending. Besides the opening of Curse of the Black Goldexhibition at HOST, there are a variety of events he's participating in that will be enriching for all those interested in photography, journalism, advocacy and art.

  • Today, the 9th, there is private viewing and reception of the Curse exhibition at the HOST Gallery.
  • On the 10th, Ed will be giving a lecture at the London College of Communication. His lecture will be part of a workshop/seminar on photojournalism and advocacy with Paul Lowe. The seminar will be from 10:30am to 5pm.
  • Then from 6 to 9, you will be able to find Ed giving another lecture at the Frontline Club, addressing primarily his illegal arrest in Nigeria: a topic relatively rarely spoken about.
  • Thursday the 11th Ed will be reviewing students' work at the LCC from 9 – 11am and then from 6 – 8 participating in a large symposium at the London School of Economics.
  • Finally on Friday the 12th from 5 – 8pm, Ed will be back at HOST Gallery with Paul Collier andDauda Garuba for the Sponsor/Civil Society reception.
It's a lot, it will be a challenge, but it will all be worth it. Come out if you can.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ed Kashi on Syria, past and present

Today the NYT published an interview with me conducted by James Estrin for the New York Times LENS blog. We talk my work from Syria in the 1990's and the present day, discussing what changes, if any, have taken place in this important and fascinating country. As I've said in the past, Syria is a country that the United States must be friends with and achieve a deeper level of trust and cooperation with. They are too important a linchpin to not only peace but deeper and healthier connections to the Arab world and the Middle East.



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Daily Kos Essay and Nigeria's Sea Change

The Daily Kos has just posted a fantastic essay written by Sven Eberlein revisiting the history and complications in the political state of Nigeria – something that should be closely studied to understand the inevitable shockwaves that will be felt on an international scale.

With Goodluck Jonathan, the newly unexpected and unorthodoxly appointed president being from the Niger Delta, the world is and should be watching closely. There is every opportunity for change in not only the Political State, but the Mental, Economic, Ethical and perhaps even Cultural State as well.

It seems that the most pervasive worry about Goodluck’s seating is that he will be veered from his agenda by government bodies comprised of little more than sycophants and corrupt heads of power. Both of these brands of men, their actions and etiquette are the product of decades of foreign influence and financial corruption. Foreign corporations and the remnants of imperialism are at the root of the problem, and need to be addressed immediately.

It is for all of these reasons and the national and environmental circumstances in Nigeria, that yesterday’s development is simply exhilarating.

Please take the time to read Sven’s essay on Daily Kos, crossposted on his own blog. It is very well written and illustrates the history of the well-warranted skepticism the world has as it watches Goodluck’s assent.


Friday, February 12, 2010

An Open Letter From The Friends of NEGIP Network

Through facebook we were sent this message from The Friends of NEGIP Network, an advocacy group which rallies for sustainable energy in Nigeria - a topic that is close to our heart. Originally I intended to edit it down, but realized that each sentence is too important for the statement, and that it wouldn't be fair for Deji Adenusi, one of the administrators of the group. Here it is in its entirety, eloquently written and well worth the short amount of time it will take to read.


The revelation that the administration of the former president of Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo "spent" about $16.00 billion on energy and power with no appreciable impact on Nigeria's energy and power sector. We recall that at the inception of the current civilian dispensation in the year 2000, the former President raised the genuine hopes and yearnings of the average Nigeria when he said: "On my honour, by the end of 2001, they (Nigerians) would begin to enjoy regular, uninterrupted power supply".

On the heels of that solemn promise came the creation of the Liyel Imoke Technical Committee on Energy and Power. However, today the problem of endemic power outages still pervade as the nation remains in darkness. The Electricity Power Sector Reform Act 2005 was promulgated on March 5, 2005, to liberalize the energy sector and break the monopoly in the industry. The Act also established the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). The legislation was passed in a bid to resuscitate the power sector. In spite of all these Committees and legislations, the sector remains epileptic. Current and ongoing investigations by the legislature highlight an unfortunate scenario of allegations and counter pandering on the part of government officials.

To date, there is no agreement on the actual figure expended in the energy sector between 1999-2007. This in itself is very worrisome. Equally, recent revelation that due process through public tender of energy contracts was never followed is regrettable when such contracts were solely awarded between the minister and General Olusegun Obasanjo's (rtd) presidency. We have equally taken note of the award of electricity contracts to blacklisted companies by the former President which amounts to a betrayal of the trust of the Nigerian people still saddled with the torture of continued epileptic power supply and broken promises.

Energy is the engine that drives industrialization, which improves communication, helps innovation in science and Technology, provides sound healthcare delivery system and improves citizens' standard of living. Since energy is the engine that drives industrialization, a sound energy policy would indirectly create jobs even in unexpected sectors. Considering the central and pivotal role electricity plays in an economy, we fully endorse President Musa Yar'Adua's position that,

"we must solve this problem because until we do that, we cannot address the fundamental problems of our economy like poverty and unemployment. Even while the circumstances may be different, we may need to follow the telecommunication formula in order to solve the nation's power and energy problems. Our ultimate goal is to achieve what we did with the GSM or I declare a state of emergency in the sector...Power is a key priority of this administration and we all agreed that our efforts at developing the nation cannot succeed unless we solve the power problem."

Addressing the electricity crisis is one of President Umaru Yaradua's seven-point agenda promised Nigerians while on his 2007 campaign trail. An Energy Council was set up. In addition an 11-man Committee for the Accelerated Expansion of Nigeria's Power Infrastructure was inaugurated on Tuesday, February 19, to deliver 6,000 additional megawatts over the next 18 months and add an extra 11,000 megawatts by 2011. To day the reverse is the case has power has dropped to 2000 mega watts what is was some 4 years ago . Nigerians can no longer bet on government promises because of monumental failures to keep promises made in the past. Any real moves must be bold, private sector-driven and devoid of bureaucratic bottlenecks. There has to be time lined Electricity Development Plans backed by statutes. The Nigerian Society of Engineers ought to be directly involved at all levels.

I believe that a sound Energy Policy is not and should not be limited solely to electricity production from fossil fuel - Oil & Gas and/or Nuclear Energy Sources. There are of course better, and more efficient and environmentally friendly ways of generating electricity. The following sources must be tapped - Biomass, Geothermal, Hydro Power, Nuclear (fission and fusion), Ocean waves, Solar, Wind, and other pollution free renewable sources.

As a responsible corporate citizen I encourage the Nigerian government in conjunction with other stakeholders to focus her energy policy strategy on areas such as Solar, Wind, Ocean waves and Biomass. These are energy areas that most developing nations like Nigeria can exploit safely and efficiently. They are also environmentally sound.

The acting President Good luck Jonathan has a chance for a new beginning and a renaissance to building a proud and industrial nation. He must tap into the entrepreneurial spirit and bring on board "the can do attitude" of his fellow citizens.

In the meantime, we urge the National Assembly to step up its oversight functions so as to find answers to the whereabouts of the $16 billion that the last administration claimed to have invested in the power sector and move the nation forward by ensuring that recent promises by the current administration remain a marked difference from previously failed promises.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Crisis & Opportunity: Documenting the Global Recession" Exhibit Opening

If you are unfamiliar with socialdocumentary.net you should check them out. The consistent quality of their content and admirable effort goes above and beyond what one typically expects. This is why we're excited about the upcoming exhibit next Tuesday that they and powerHouse Arena, one of our favorite galleries, are launching. The exhibit will directly address the Global Recession and how it has impacted our world with striking photographs and an educational panel discussion, featuring some of the world's most qualified speakers on the subject.

It's sometimes easy to think of the global recession as an abstract event, as a topic of discussion and not much more... especially when we're insulated in a metropolitan area of a first world nation. This exhibit, the photographs and discussion, will attempt to bridge the disconnect many have from our global community.
To find out more please read this online announcement, and visit the powerHouse website. We hope to see you there, to foster a great discussion and launch an exhibit that will be as enriching as it is provocative.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

An Excellent Point Made by Mark Schapiro

Even without an education in finance, the strong point made in this, the conclusion of Mark Schapiro’s article in Harper’s Magazine, has a ring of disheartening truth:

"Indeed, carbon exists as a commodity only through the decisions of politicians and bureaucrats, who determine both the demand, by setting emissions limits, and the supply, by establishing criteria for offsets. It was the United States that sculpted the cap-and-trade system during the Kyoto negotiations, before pulling out of the accord and leaving the rest of the world to implement the scheme. Since then, most of the world’s major political financial and environmental interests have aligned themselves with the idea, because of its potential to generate profits out of adversity and to avoid the difficult economic decisions posed by climate change. Now the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress – along with most American companies, which see cap-and-trade as the friendliest regulation they could hope for – want to rejoin the world and multiply the market. That market is, in essence, and elaborate shell game, a disappearing act that nicely serves the immediate interests of the world’s governments but fails to meet the challenges of our looming environmental crisis."

Mark Schapiro, Harper’s Magazine, February 2010

The metaphor of the Shell Game seems fitting, conjuring both the feel of deceit and exposing the economic incentives that foster short-term goals. Has the world lost sight of, or rather, does the world understand the long-term goal? Beyond grassroots organizations, it seems so at times.

Earlier we discussed the protests that surrounded the Copenhagen Summit, and what seemed like a large division between the parties involved and their interests. Perhaps that division runs deeper, and that rift might prove to be more detrimental than I had thought. But still, I can’t believe that many international parties don’t have good intentions.

Is that naïve?


Sunday, January 31, 2010

What is America Doing about Energy???

Why are we abdicating leadership on these technologies of the present and most certainly the future??? What is wrong with America? We should be seeing a consortium of energy companies, banks, government and entrepreneurs piercing ahead with solar panels and wind turbines. This should be considered unacceptable by the American electorate and people! Read this NYT article to see what's happening under our noses. I am not writing this as a jingoist, merely as someone who values America's health as a nation and society, wanting to see it continue to lead in positive ways and continue to innovate and create jobs and contribute to the world's betterment.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Promising Azafady Update

Some might remember the Prix Pictet event from the end of last year when Ed was commissioned to do work for Azafady

Yesterday we were alerted to a great report posted on the Azafady website that gives us a peek into what must be an extraordinary experience and I’m sure a equally moving body of work.

Here’s an early look at what to expect from the project:

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Monday, January 18, 2010

"Follow the Money"

Check out this Talking Eyes Media produced short on Oxfam America's website. The 2 minute call-to-action video showcases animations from leftchannel and still photos from Ed Kashi.

Oxfam America


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Antrim Caskey and the upcoming book, "Dragline"

Just before the Climate Summit in Copenhagen last month, we suggested a few specific websites to keep an eye on. The first was about the summit itself, the second was the collaboration of multiple photojournalists to promote climate activism, and the third was a great project by Chad Stevens called “The Coal War”. But there was a fourth.

Appalachia: A Land and People Under Threat” by Antrim Caskey.

Today, Appalachia Watch, Caskey’s long-term media project on this topic, and Climate Ground Zero, the campaign she primarily works with, announced the upcoming release of Dragline her long awaited photo-book. Dragline will feature 74 pages that document the harsh reality behind the scandal of Mountain Top Removal coal mining that is ravaging the Appalachian Mountains.

We strongly urge you to buy her book, or contribute in any way you can to her and Climate Ground Zero’s cause.


Friday, January 1, 2010

USA Book News

For those interested in getting their books more notice and utilized in other areas besides photography/art/media, check this listing out. My book on the Niger Delta, Curse of the Black Gold, was selected for last year's list and it's easy to submit your book. Check this out. Remember, we must find alternatives ways and worlds to present our work to have a more lasting and expansive impact on the world.....in other words, get out of the "photo ghetto!"....Happy New Year to all! USA Book News