Monday, July 25, 2011

Upcoming event at CCA Lagos

Click to enlarge.


At Terminal 5, 23rd July

Terminal 5 is the prototype for life on a hostile planet.  For all the glass, there appears to be no outside.  It could be bolted down on Mars, and no one there would really mind.  This time round, I noticed that someone had thought of art.  The trouble is, the thought was a Terminal 5/BAA bean-counter version, which involves squeezing random pieces into a relatively tiny room next to a luggage shop.  Art is justified on the space station, but only just.

I had ninety minutes to kill before my flight to Berlin Tegel.  I flashed my ticket’s Silver Card status to the bored man at the entrance to the business lounge and went in search of breakfast.  Instead of baked beans, mushrooms and hash browns, they had hills of croissants.  I collected some papers to go with my toast and made for the seating area.  On the tv screens, a bewildered looking man was being interviewed by a nest of film crews.  He spoke in Norwegian. His voice was soft and serious, his face white with shock.

Later, at the gate, I sat in an early morning stupour, my eyes glancing the vending machines, the colour of the walls, the Martian exterior.  And then the passengers; a sea of faces with Berlin things to do.  One of those moments between things and without any significance that will quickly be forgotten.

And then, music from the side.  A violin playing traditional music, punctuated by the clap of hands.  My brain seized on the sounds to decode its provenance.  It was slower than Irish and more meandering.  It reminded me of the Norwegian music on cassette tapes that Z had.  The chorus looped back into verse with ongoing insistence.  But was this from a PA system and why would the Dead Sea of Planet Heathrow allow such?  The music was far too alive and rejoicing of rhythm. 

I caught a sense of movement in frosted glass.  Perhaps 20 bodies in a shifting clump.  Straining my neck, I saw them: perhaps twenty middle to late-middle aged people dancing in formation.  I instantly remembered the lessons in English country dancing at school ahead of the Golden Jubilee in 1977.  To the side, a lone violinist, his face bent into the instrument, absorbed in his task.  The movements of the group were purposeful: bodies turning to the side to pass through the ranks and reform.  Symbolically: a society whose hierarchies are never meant to settle.

Only hours later on the plane did it occur to me that this may have been a response to the terrible tragedy unfolding in Norway.  A shocked people, responding to the unhinged conditions of the present in the terms of the past.  They were going home.  They were about to face the tragic music.  The only way they knew how was to immerse themselves in it.  All of a sudden, Terminal 5 acquired meaning and human significance.


Friday, July 15, 2011

The first Bottle House in Nigeria

The first bottle house is under construction near Kaduna.  Bottle-bricks made by local children are then assembled in to buildings by masons who are being trained in the bottle-build technique. The houses will be energy autonomous and almost totally recycled and could stand for 1000s of years!
The Emir of Zaria came to the site to lend his support.  The next project is a bottle school in Suleja.  Thanks to Katrin Macmillan for the pictures!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ayodele Morocco-Clarke by the British Museum


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Gozi Ochonogor show this Saturday, Notting Hill


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Financial Journalist opening, Nigeria

A team is looking to revamp the finance section of an established media organ in Nigeria, and they are looking for a senior financial journalist for a semi-editorial role.

The main professional requirements are - familiarity with and ability to write well about financial-sector issues, understanding of the Nigerian financial sector and how it fits into the global and emerging-markets picture, experience and ability in print journalism, and familiarity with expectations of global investor readership.

It's likely to be a Lagos-based opportunity, and the team are happy to consider expatriate as well as national candidates. The package has not yet been finalised but will be globally competitive. If you are interested, or know of anyone else who is, please put them in touch with me at this email address, and I will put them in touch.

Thanks and take care,

Olly Owen

[email protected]


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sir George Taubman Goldies' tomb in Brompton Cemetery

His wife Maud is also buried there. As I took the picture, I wondered whether Flora Shaw (later to marry Lord Lugard) really was his mistress.


Sunday, July 03, 2011

Video and film production training courses in Warri

Dear Nigerian Friends,

I hope you are all well. Could you please help me to distribute the advertisement below?

I am running some video and film production training courses over the next couple of months and we are looking for participants.

PLEASE NOTE - participants must be from the Niger Delta Region ( Ondo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Imo, Abia, Akwa Ibom and Cross River.) The courses will be run in Warri.

There are two one week courses directed at two groups. The first are youth (18-35) who have a flair/interest in video production and the second is geared towards professionals already working in the field.

The places are limited and the application process is competitive (see advertisement for details).

The youth course will also serve as a potential trial for some of them to be hired on a full time basis, where they will receive further training and complete video productions for PIND and its partners in the Niger Delta region. The positions will be based in Warri, Delta State.

Anyway that's the plan. Please send me your best and your brightest. We are looking for people who can specialise in any of these areas editing, filming, producing, directing and sound recording.

For more information on PIND please visit

Thanks, hope to see you all sometime soon.

Jolyon Hoff

[email protected]


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