Otobong Nkanga Delta Stories, 2005-2006
Exhibited at Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain 2006 and INIVA, London, Great Britain, 2010
One of the changing landscapes I am interested in is the oil rich Delta region in Nigeria, which has undergone ecological, political and social shift resulting in conflicts, violence and ecological damage. The writer and activist Ken Saro Wiwa highlighted this zone and told stories of the people that were never heard.
'Delta Stories' is a series of 18 drawings which are narrations in fragments, putting emphasis on gestures, memories, disillusions, fears, hopes and the absurdity of human beings and its environment. One of the important starting points was the slow process of change of this landscape. The Delta is a space that leaves an evident sign of change, leaving traces, deposits and transformations.
The drawings ‘Delta Stories: Landscapes I-II’ portray an aerial view of an imaginary landscape going through a metamorphosis. The landscape gradually overflows with water and in a later stage with a spillage of crude oil. These drawings points a two way state of mutation in the Delta zone: the geological and the man-made course of development. The stories are told with the juxtaposition of one image next to the other and the titles of each drawing gives another insight of the narrative.