CASE Art Fund: Emeke Obanor - The Eye of Photography Magazine

CASE Art Fund: Emeke Obanor – The Eye of Photography Magazine

In 2014, Boko Haram abducted 276 young girls from a school in the town of Chibok, and many are still missing. Some girls were granted freedom when they failed to detonate the bombs strapped to their waists and surrendered to security authorities, while others were granted freedom after military raids on their camps.

Emeke Obanor [n. 1972, Delta State, Nigeria] is a self-taught photographer based in the oil-rich but crisis-torn Niger Delta region. A literature teacher by day, he is committed to showing the world the atrocities committed on girls in his region by Boko Haram, a ruthless terrorist group operating in northeast Nigeria. In 2014, they abducted 276 female students from a school in the town of Chibok, and many are still missing. In captivity, the girls have become radicalized against Western education, a system that promotes independent thought and runs counter to Boko Haram’s view of Islam. Some girls were released when they failed to detonate bombs strapped to their waists and turned themselves in to security authorities, while others were released after military raids on their camps. But in the face of unimaginable terror, Islamic extremism and gender bias, many young girls decided to pursue a Western education when they regained their freedom. “We were abducted for the choice we made – to go to school,” muttered a young girl.

In Nigeria, one in four girls is sexually assaulted before the age of 18. Many locals undermine the emotional trauma experienced by rape victims, creating a lack of sympathy. In Nigeria, this attitude is due to the patriarchal and misogynistic culture; a society where the rules are dictated and governed by men, and where culture and tradition mean that men control their wives.

In her new series “Legal Rape,” Obanor works with rape victims to bring attention to the systematic abuse of girls in a country where women’s rights are scarce. Obanor [un père de trois filles] and the girls hope these images will raise awareness about rape and the many issues that need to be addressed.

This is part of my nonprofit f CASE Art Fund. We do a monthly series called CASETalks where we interview an artist and/or they are in conversation with a curator or educator. You can find out more about CASETalks on our website

Cathy Edelman

VSHASSE Art Fund
2636 W. Morse Ave
Chicago, IL 60645
312-593-1744
www.caseartfund.org04

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