Lab Work | spOILed

SPOILED is a documentary story about our US connection to oil in Africa. O90 had the fortune to meet the Nigerian photographer, Akintunde Akinleye, at the Santa Fe Film Festival in 2008 and do a short interview with him. Akinleye had snapped this amazing photo and became the first Nigerian to win the World Press Photo Award in 2007. The photo documents a common tragedy in Nigeria, the 8th largest exporter of oil in the world. This is the scene of an oil pipeline explosion, after thieves had tapped the pipeline to fill tankers with oil for resale. Sadly 260 people were killed when the punctured pipeline caught fire. Nigeria suffers the resource curse, whereby paradoxically countries with an abundance of natural resources tend to be more poor than countries with fewer natural resources. SPOILED explores what is behind the resource curse and uncovers our connection to the African oil industry, much liked the media blitz did for blood diamonds, except in this case oil is everybody's best friend - or our worst enemy. Crossing borders, cultures and class lines, SPOILED meets the vast array of players complicit in the African oil game – from US consumers, politicians, oil tycoons, offshore rig operators, civil servants, activists, gangsters, prostitutes and priests – and reveals how the personal stories of these seemingly disparate lives across continents are more interconnected than initially perceived. 

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