Nigeria has more phones than people. They both connect and signify difference. Recently, politicians have posted their phone numbers online in populist demonstrations of 24-hour easy-access accountability. But in the context of social inequality and government secrecy, such moves also arouse suspicion: who has access to the Governor’s ‘real’ number?
This photograph is of a mobile phone repair shop in the old centre of Ibadan, taken in 2015.
The photo was part of the LSE Research Festival 2016.
My photo essay for the Africa@LSE Blog looks at how the Governor of Oyo State's agenda for modernising Ibadan, the state capital, impacted on street traders. The photos show the tools and materials used by traders and artisans. Displays, studios and workshops are put up and taken down every day, making up hundreds of micro-workspaces along the roadside. However, aspirations to transform the city, whether held by elites or ordinary voters, leave little room for this practice. Read in full on Africa@LSE.
Debates over the meaning of development dominate politics in Nigeria's Southwestern states. For LSE's 2015 Research Festival I entered a photograph from Abeokuta, Ogun State, where a new highway cuts through the town, at times cutting houses in two. This demonstrates both the vigour and violence of certain developmental efforts, as well as the ambivalence with which such efforts are regarded by local residents, who continue to trade by the roadside. The photo won the DTC Prize. Read more on the LSE International Development Blog.