An Associated Press photographer and participant in the 2015 Venice Biennale, George Osodi employs the traditions of photojournalism to convey complex narratives about his native Nigeria. In a series investigating the culture of Nigerian monarchs, Osodi traveled around the country photographing kings and queens in their palaces. The monarchs lack constitutional power, but Osodi’s portraits and explanatory texts highlight the cultural legacy of the Nigerian kingdoms, celebrating the royals’ relationship to local history while revealing their entanglement with contemporary political issues. Osodi belongs to a generation of photographers who want to represent their country from a Nigerian perspective; authorship is therefore central to his practice. “I feel that it’s high time we as a country see this diversity as a point of unity in Nigeria rather than something that divides us,” Osodi has said.
In recent time, numbers of rape victim has been on the increase in Nigeria. Nigeria is still very much a patriarchal and misogynistic society; a society where rules are dictated and governed by men, and culture and tradition makes men head over women. The culture aspect includes gender norms that validate men as sexual pursuers and attitudes that view women as sexual conquests by which manhood is legitimized and women are objectified, as sexual objects to be owned, used, consumed, and even sexually abused by the “entitled”male.
The society on their part undermines the emotional trauma experienced by rape victims and thus become unsympathetic and sees it as a norm.
The documentary “Legal Rape” explores the uncomfortable memories of rape victims, violation of their human right and their search for closure, in a society where the mindset of most people as it relates to sexual assault tends to be un-empathetic, unsympathetic and seen as a norm.
Some of the victims truly suffer uncomfortable memories such as nightmares, flashbacks, suicide thoughts and feelings of guilt. It can also manifest in physical ways, like chronic pain, intestinal problems, muscle cramps, paralyzed vocal cord, or as in TY case, sleep disorder.
With the shameful act increasing day after day in Nigeria, keeping silent about the issue is no longer the way to go and heal for the girls I documented.
Truly, rape victims have some periodic bitter flashbacks, so they usually take steps to heal, but healing seems far for many of them without a proper support system from families, society or agencies. People should join “say no to rape” advocacy since that would go a long way to reduce the number of incidents, address rape as human right violation.
Emeka Okereke born in 1980 is a Nigerian visual artist and writer who lives and works between Africa and Europe, moving from one to the other on a frequent basis. He came in contact with photography in 2001. He was a member of the renowned Nigerian photography collective, Depth of Field (DOF).
Presently, his works oscillate between diverse mediums. He employs mainly photography, time-based medium of video, poetry and performative interventions in the exploration of the central theme of ‘borders’. His works grapple with the questions of exchange and co-existence in the context of various social-cultural confluences. Another aspect of his practice lies in project organising: coordinating artistic interventions which promote exchanges cutting across indigenous and international platforms.
In 2008 he organised the first ever photographic exchange projects between schools in France and Nigeria – The Fine Art School of Paris and Yaba College of Arts and Technology Lagos. This was eventually followed by Crossing Compasses: Lagos-Berlin Photo Exchange and Converging Visions: Nigeria – Netherlands Photo Exchange (2012).
He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Invisible Borders: The Trans-African Project
In 2003, he won the Photographer award from the AFAA “Afrique en Création” in the 5th edition of the Bamako Photo Festival of photography. He has a Bachelors/Masters degree from the National Fine Art School of Paris and has exhibited in biennales and art festivals in different cities of the world, notably Lagos, Bamako, Cape Town, London, Berlin, Bayreuth, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Brussels, Johannesburg, New York, Washington, Barcelona, Seville, Madrid, Paris, etc. His works was exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale of Arts under the Invisible Borders space-installation: “A Trans-African Worldspace” which he also curated.
As a Reuters photographer everybody is waiting for your pictures and you don’t want to betray the trust that they have in you