Cristina de Middel: ‘This Is What Hatred Did’ – The Nigerian Escapade

2006 Madrid, Spain IV War Correspondents Training, Ground forces Army School, Course in International Humanitarian Law and Peace-keeping operations, Spanish Red Cross 2002 Barcelona, Spain Photojournalism, Postgraduate Degree, Barcelona Autónoma University 2001 Valencia, Spain M.A Fine Arts, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia 2000 Oklahoma, US M.A. Photography, University of Oklahoma. PROMOE Scholarship 1975 Alicante, Spain Born

Nigeria –  In the 1960s, a five-year-old Nigerian child’s village was attacked by soldiers. His mother had left him home alone and he had to run away, escaping the bombs and the fire. He saved his life entering the Bush, this magical territory where no humans are allowed and where all the Yoruba spirits live and fight. Our kid spent thirty years lost in the Bush trying to find his way back home amongst the spirits and the dead. He got married two times, became a king, a god, a slave, a cow, a jar, a horse, and a goat. He ate gold, silver and bronze, snakes and snails. He fought two wars and was sentenced to death half a dozen times… all that in just one hundred pages.

Amos Tutuola wrote My Life in the Bush of Ghosts in 1964 and then had to leave the country to escape the violent reactions to a book that would open in exile a new path for contemporary African narratives. The story is told by the five year old child in a very basic, direct, naive and repetitive style that only children master, but it manages to convey the magical and absurd reality that war and religion added to the Nigerian experience.

In her latest series This is What Hatred Did (the mysterious last sentence of the book), Middel aims to provide an illustrated contemporary version of this story, adapting the characters, space and the ambient to the actual situation of the country. The Bush is now the Lagosian neighborhood of Makoko, a floating slum with its own rules, commanded by kings and community leaders. It is a place where no logic seems to prevail and that is equally forbidden for those who do not belong. With the conviction that contemporary issues should be described in a way that includes the ancient traditions, perspectives, fears and hopes, this series documents the enhanced reality of one of the most iconic places in Nigeria, according to the always dramatic media.


Written & Photographed by Cristina de Middel 

Related Posts

James Wellford : The Death of Newsweek

U.S.A. – As part of Emaho’s media partnership with Cortona On the Move – Photography in Travel (until September 29th, …

Rafael Arocha: “Medianoche” – Confessions of Night Seduction

Spain –  Medianoche refers to a border that confronts us with certain limits. A temporary space in which we can explore …

Petra Stavast: ‘Ramya’ – Beautifully Archiving Your Landlady for 14 years

Netherlands –  Ramya, long-term personal project converted into a photobook by Dutch photographer Petra Stavast, made over a period of 14 years, …

Olga Matveeva: “FEUD” – Winner of the Vienna PhotoBook Award

Russia –  (Crimea 12.2013- 03.2014) Photography feature – Olga Matveeva’s Feud is the fraternal war in which the opposition parties …

Oscar Monzon: KARMA

Spain –  In Karma, a project developed in Madrid between 2009 and 2013, Óscar Monzón focuses on the car as a …

Colin Pantall on Melinda Gibson’s Miss Titus Becomes a Regular Army Mac

United Kingdom – Melinda Gibson’s new book, Miss Titus Becomes a Regular Army Mac is a book about a collection …

Sons in exile : Kashish Parpiani

India – The Von Ngari Monastery, Manali currently shelters 12 kids ranging from young eight year olds to adolescent 19 …

Prasiit Sthapit : Change of Course

Nepal – The first time I arrived in Susta, I had to walk around 3 minutes from the river across …

Jiehao Su: “Borderland” – Reconstructing Personal Memories

China –  Borderland is a project deeply rooted in my personal history. I spent my early twenties living a nomadic …