In the sixities a 5 year old Nigerian kid´s village 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, this 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. Amos Tutuola wrote “ My life in the bush of ghosts” in 1964 and then had to leave the country to escape the violent reactions to a book that would open in the exilium, a new path for contemporary African narrative.
The story is told by the 5 year old kid in a very basic, direct, naive and repetitive style that only children master, but manages to convey the magical and absurd reality that war and religion added to the Nigerian reality. The series “This is what hatred did” (Mysterious last sentence of the book) aims to provide an illustrated contemporary version of this story adapting the characters, the space and the ambient to the actual situation of the country. The Bush is now the Lagosian neighborhood of Makoko, a floating slum 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 agent´s traditions, perspectivas, fears and hopes, this series documents the enhanced reality of one of the most iconic places in Nigeria according to the always dramatic media.
Text © 2015 by Cristina de Middel.