Dark Twisted Reality Through Cristina de Middel’s This is What Hatred Did
In the sixties the village of a 5 year old Nigerian kid was attacked by soldiers. “His mother had left him home alone and he had to run away escaping the bombs and the fire. He saved his life entering the Bush, a magical territory where no humans are allowed and where all the Yoruba spirits live and fight. Our kid spent 30 years lost in the Bush trying to find his way back home amongst the spirits and the dead. He got married two times, became a king, a god and a slave, a cow, a jar, a horse, a goat, ate gold, silver and bronze, snakes and snails, he fought 2 wars and was sentenced to death half a dozen times… all that in just 100 pages.” —Cristina de Middel recounting My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1964) by Amos Tutuola
In a series of unreal real photos, This is What Hatred Did (derived from the mysterious last sentence of Tutuola’s book) is a reflection of a reality that is almost frightening. Cristina de Middel brings the darkness to the light, by capturing the “outcasts” and “unusual” in the midst of daily activity in Nigeria. What follows is a selection from her vast catalog.
“The Bush is now the Lagosian neighborhood of Makoko, a floating slum in Lagos, with its own rules, commanded by kings and community leaders. A place where no logic seems to prevail and that is equally forbidden for those who do not belong. With the conviction that contemporary issues should be described in a way that includes the ancient traditions, perspectives, fears, and hopes, this series documents the enhanced reality of one of the most iconic places in Nigeria according to the always dramatic media.”
All visuals © Cristina de Middel