Monday, November 10, 2008

"What Matters", A Collection Of Photo Essays

This is a photo of a woman baking cassava cakes using the heat of a flare left by an oil company in the Niger River Delta. My image of cake baking will never be the same.

The photo was taken by Ed Kashi, who traveled to Nigeria from 2004 to 2006 to expose the impact oil production there has on the people. Of the above photo, he says, "This is the equivalent of using your car tailpipe to bake bread."

The pipelines run right through communities:

CNN posted a 15-photo slideshow this morning, that includes these two, at:
The Price Of Our Oil Addiction

The photos are part of a new photo book, What Matters: The World's Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time, edited by David Elliot Cohen.

The book and accompanying website ( "include 193 specific ways that you can get involved and help the people in the photos," says Cohen.

Says Kashi:
"We have to figure out how to move beyond our dependence on oil. Because from what I have witnessed as a photojournalist around the world and particularly in the Niger Delta... is that from the source of oil, all the way through the process of obtaining it and refining it and then bringing it to market, and then the end use? It is all negative and destructive. It's destructive to people's lives, and it's destructive to our environment."
More of Kashi's photos on his site.

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