Today the On Display podcast features Rahima Gambo, an Nigerian photographer and conceptual artist based in Abuja. Rahima went through several career changes before becoming an artist. She initially focused on gender and development studies while attending college in the UK, intending to work in policy making in Nigeria. But after returning home, she realized she wanted a way to communicate her own and other people’s stories more strongly. To fulfill this passion, she pursued a photojournalism degree in New York. In 2014, when 276 girls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Nigeria, Rahima found herself called home to document the story. But she again found herself dissatisfied and disillusioned with the process and how the story was sensationalized for a foreign audience. Wanting to convey a deeper, more holistic story about the people she interviewed and their culture, she decided to take a different approach to storytelling.
Telling stories, not just documenting Rahima’s initial project, “Education is Forbidden,” focused on the school girls who continued to attend school despite the kidnappings and conflict around them. Instead of remaining an impartial and objective observer, she found herself becoming an integral part of what was created, collaborating with the girls and mutually influencing each other.
“I think that was the whole point of that project,” she says, “Just to remember something beyond this whole… victimhood/conflict, to revert to this safe space of ‘Okay we know who we are… You from the outside can’t tell us who we are.’”
Read the story HERE!
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