AWARD DATE: 2012
AWARD NAME: The Olivier Rebbot Award 2012
AWARD RECIPIENT: Samuel James
AWARD RECIPIENT AFFILIATION: Freelance for Harper’s Magazine
AWARD HONORED WORK: The Water of My Land
Vibrant and searing images made under difficult conditions. The photographer effectively used full color palette of the environment to engage the viewer and bring them to the locales documented. The work has a strong visual consistency that carries the story forward from frame to frame.
An elderly woman journeys into a creek in the Egbema Kingdom of the Niger Delta to fish.
A woman carries a jerrycan of illicitly refined diesel fuel to her home in the Niger Delta.
At an illicit refinery deep within the Gbaramatu Kingdom in the Niger Delta, oil spills and waste from the refinery has killed all the Mangrove trees in the area, whose roots can be seen stained with oil during low tide. Likewise, a thick layer of crude oil and refinery waste coats the river water, depriving all water animals and vegetation the necessary oxygen to survive.
At an illicit refinery deep within the creeks of the Niger Delta, crude oil is cooked down to produce diesel fuel. Before diesel cooking emerged as a more lucrative trade, villagers throughout the Niger Delta used this same refining method to a cook the sap from Raffia palm trees into gin known as Ogogoro.
A child gathers firewood from a plot of land in the jungle being burned and cleared to make way for farms and local fuel refineries.
Workers cook diesel fuel at an illicit refinery deep within the mangroves of th Gbaramatu Kingdom in the Niger Delta. They cook all night to evade authorities tracking the smoke from their operation.
A man cooks crude oil into diesel fuel at an illicit refinery in the Niger Delta.
Local villagers unload illicitly refined diesel fuel and sell it to filling stations on the black market at a jetty in the Niger Delta.
After a full day of cooking crude oil into diesel fuel at an illicit refinery deep in the creeks of the Niger Delta, a worker cools the waste from this refining process as it is dumped into a pit in the jungle.
A child is seen at a jetty in the Niger Delta where illicitly refined fuel is unloaded and sold on the black market to fuel filling stations throughout Nigeria.
A man bathes in the river while cooking crude oil into diesel fuel at an illicit refinery deep in the creeks of the Niger Delta.
Under the glare of a gas flare in the Niger Delta, where excess natural gas is burned twenty four hours a day while crude oil is pumped out of the ground, boats loaded with drums of illicitly refined diesel fuel await buyers onshore.