Contemplating Nigeria's Future
In 2010, I travelled to Lagos to begin production on my documentary film, The Supreme Price. Back then, I had no way of knowing that In the month leading up to the film's June 2014 premiere at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival at Lincoln Center, Nigeria would be front and center in news all over the world. The horrific kidnapping of over 250 school girls in the northern part of the country was a tragic story that touched upon key themes in my film and these photographs: the need to protect, educate and empower women and girls; the need for increased numbers of women leaders in political positions of power to represent their best interests; the violent backlash in the face of progressive change when it comes to traditional gendered stereotypes that involve the oppression of women; and the complete absence of a Nigerian government that is accountable to the masses. My film and the photographs in the series (which I took during the production) provide context for understanding these kinds of developments, while highlighting the efforts of heroic Nigerian women who are working every day to educate women, to hold their leaders accountable, and to improve their country so that Nigeria can realize its enormous potential.
On October 1st, 2015, the 55th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence, The Supreme Price aired on television in 49 African countries. Following the pivotal election of President Buhari in Spring 2015, this was an ideal time for viewers across the continent to contemplate Nigeria’s complex, historic, political evolution as a nation. As a photographer, my objective now is to use these images accompanied by insightful quotes from various interviews I conducted while directing my film along with some excerpts from my production notes to raise awareness and spark provocative discussions about women’s rights and political participation in present-day Nigeria.
To watch trailer and read reviews of the award-winning documentary, The Supreme Price, please visit: www.joannalipper.com