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Niger Delta story re-echoes in ‘Oil in our Creeks’

BY ROTIMI AGBANA

Whitespace Creative Agency, in partnership with Sustainability International, a non-profit organization working to alleviate poverty and corruption with technology, have screened a new film titled ‘Oil in our creeks’, in honor of World Environment Day, at the Falomo Roundabout Under-bridge, Ikoyi.

Directed by Zahra Rasool, co-produced by Rasool and Uzodinma Iweala, author of ‘Beasts of No Nation’, ‘Oil in our Creeks’ is the second film in a series of original documentaries that explores the effects of the global oil trade in Nigeria retells the story of people and cultures hit hardest by inequality and conflict.

 

The film documents the story of Lessi Phillips, who was only 16-years old when a Shell pipeline running under the creeks of the Niger Delta burst in her village, spilling oil into the swamps for 77 days. The oil spill devastated the local fisheries and farms, and plunged a once-thriving community into a downward economic spiral. The film follows Phillips through Bodo City almost 10-years later as she recounts how the environmental disaster impacted her community, and how the youth work to revive hope.

Speaking about the initiative, Papa Omotayo, Whitespace Creative Agency Creative Director hopes that people will be able to interact with issues they may not have enough knowledge on and also be encouraged to contribute to the larger conversation around environmental issues affecting their own communities.

Explaining the idea behind screening the film, Zahra Rasool said “The environmental disaster in the Niger Delta has been reported on for the last 20 years. We wanted to find a new way to retell this important story. We divided the 360-degree screen into 180 degrees of live action footage and juxtaposed the other 180-degree section with animated versions of Lessi’s recollections, detailing what the village looked like before the oil spill,” Zahra said.


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