Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

The Trouble with the Nigeria Prize for Literature

The richest literary prize in the world, the Nobel Prize, carries a US$1.1 million purse. The richest lit prize in Africa, the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature, doesn’t quite match up, but it does guarantee the winner a whopping US$100,000. It’s been around since 2004, with the purse increasing from $20,000 to $40,000 in 2006

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

‘The Oil Complex’

Video of a worthwhile lecture (recorded in February this year) by Berkeley geographer Michael Watts breaking down the workings of the oil industry.  In the lecture–titled “Dispossession and Oil Violence”– Watts riffs off David Harvey’s explanation of the...

Monday, June 13th, 2011

The Cost of Oil to Nigeria

“Nigeria is the world’s 8th largest producer of crude oil, yet remains one of its poorest nations — an estimated 70 percent of its 150 million residents live below the poverty line. The environment is paying a...

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

‘The Ballad of the Black Gold’

Keeping with the oil theme, here’s Talib Kweli, featuring his frequent collaborator Hi-Tek and Imani Uzuri, from June 2010.

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Snake Oil

Chevron knows a thing or two about good PR. Something Shell and BP neglected to their peril. Of course we know the difference between good PR and actual actions. Let’s hope these pretty girls’ lives won’t be...

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

(S)hell in the Niger Delta

Powerful Amnesty International spot for its campaign around conditions in Nigeria’s Niger Delta where the oil spills make the Gulf of Mexico look like a picnic. It also points to the complicity of oil giant Shell in...

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

‘A Time Bomb’ in the Niger Delta

Trailer for “Sweet Crude,” a new documentary on the violent and exploitative (for the local population) politics of oil and the struggles to control this lucrative resource in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Shell Apologizes to Nigeria

My colleagues at The New School, The Yes Men, punks Shell last week.

Sunday, October 4th, 2009


It’s the 49th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence from Britain this weekend. From the outset the colonial leaders wanted to prevent the country from developing, but the new leadership class has not been any different. The management of...