Archive for January, 2009

Arriving in Abuja

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Just half an hour before Abuja, an old man appeared out of nowhere and joined us in the truck. He was our Abuja guide, organized by Mr Usman in one of his many phone calls. A living map, he will guide us into Abuja, as Mr Usman has never delivered to this particular area before. After arrival Mr Usman paid him a few naira, and he disappeared again. So much for our Nigerian TomTom system.

Thus we arrived smoothly at the warehouse, know to us before then as “Arthur de General”. “The General” because Arthur, by his own admission later, can arrange anything. The truck is quickly parked and unloaded, and the job for today is done.

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Departing Lagos

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

After the truck was loaded with PEAK Milk products, we left Lagos. Driver Usman Harula was behind the wheel, joined by his intern boy Kamalody. We would be sharing this small truck cabin for the next two days. We started to ask questions about the traveling lifestyle of a trucker in Nigeria. One thing that kept returning in the conversation, mostly because we kept seeing it: the many accidents that occur along the roads. Shortly after leaving Lagos we witnessed our first and most extreme case as we came to the spot where four vehicles had crashed into each other, one of which was a fuel tanker, on fire. This caused a delay of an hour and a half, that will hopefully stand out as a landmark in the recorded track. In addition to this first one, we would encounter about 10 accidents during this day; after about five we stopped doing video recordings of them, and focused on the smoother parts of the route.

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Canoeing in the jungle

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Today we had a day off. Together with Nketchi and Darren we drove east to the jungle, where we took a canoe trip. We had perfect cellphone signal the entire time though, as Nketchi demonstrates in the picture below.

Nketchi plays with her phone in the jungle

In any case, I was impressed by the amount of birds I could hear, and to a lesser extent see. We saw a kingfisher for instance. And even later we went to a local meatmarket, in the neighborhood of which, fittingly, Esther spotted some vultures.

The harbor from above

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

We started our day by visiting a possible exhibition space for the project here in Lagos, called Terra Kulture. We jotted down the dimensions and contact details.

Tijmen in the Terra Kulture exhibition space in Lagos

Then we headed for the harbor again, to record the most elaborate establishing shot we could arrange: a view from the top of the harbor master’s tower.

Esther on the harbour tower

Esther videotaping the harbour

More pictures from the workshop with the truck driver

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Here are some more pictures from the workshop with Audu, taken from the video we shot.

Esther interviewing

Truckdriver Audu talks about his travels

Audu pointing to the sand-track