Jide Alakija

01 Feb 2006 1,508 views
 
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photoblog image Bell Jar : Two worlds apart
Bell Jar : Two worlds apart|

Bell Jar : Two worlds apart

I've decided to show some more of my "Naija Images" as I now have more time at my disposal to process them. Over the coming days I intend to start a little discussion on issues relating to the Poverty and Wealth in our community. This will be the first in the Series that I'm calling "The Bell Jar". In "Two worlds apart" a relatively poor lady is sat all by herself having maybe her lunch, dinner, God knows underneath an advertisement for a relatively expensive the state of the art equipment for communication, in developed countries it's not common for a single individual to possess one of these yet in a country like Nigeria it's quite a normal thing. The same goes for the poverty striken lady, it's obvious that there are two worlds that exist in this society. I wonder which of the two will be noticed and of more importance to me, the advert or the lady? There's so much you can talk about with in this image relating to this "Bell Jar Theory". I'm really interested to hear your thoughts. What does this mean to you? Where is the link between the ad and the lady if there is any? Even better yet the link between everything in the image? For those of you that are wondering what the "Bell Jar Theory" is, it's the concept where indigenes of society exist in two seperate worlds, they are divided by a rule of Law that is only accessible to those in the Bell Jar.

comments (15)

  • Antonia
  • 1 Feb 2006, 10:21
Love the colour seperation. I really love what u do with Naija environment.
  • Ade
  • 1 Feb 2006, 11:20
Like the way U brought the woman out of the background. I am in two minds to whether you should blur it out a bit more. But I like what the shot stands for, the great nigerian divide, the big deep between wealth and poverty and hardly any in betweens. there is no uniform distribution of resources. funnily enuff as much as there is poverty in nigeria, almost everbody owns a mobile phone, go figure. my 2 cents
  • Funmi
  • 1 Feb 2006, 12:10
poverty...is very apparent here. the colour seperation brings it out further. but what strikes me more, which i have come to always take note of, is the way scenes like these are the norm in nigeria. notice d way d rest of the world in d pic is goin on like there's nothing strange about the woman sitting where she is and eating, with a bag full of what might b all that belongs 2 her in dis entire world...
call me extreme, but the society has come to accept this as the way life is...
and no matter how much we discuss it, i find that in some ways so have you and i...
  • Funmi
  • 1 Feb 2006, 12:13
poverty...is very apparent here. the colour seperation brings it out further. but what strikes me more, which i have come to always take note of, is the way scenes like these are the norm in nigeria. notice d way d rest of the world in d pic is goin on like there's nothing strange about the woman sitting where she is and eating, with a bag full of what might b all that belongs 2 her in dis entire world...
call me extreme, but the society has come to accept this as the way life is...
and no matter how much we discuss it, i find that in some ways so have you and i...
  • bola
  • 1 Feb 2006, 12:21
The enhanced colour does bring her out of the picture so I personally dont think you should blur the background anymore. It's fine the way it is.

The main issue now is what the picture actually says. At first glance, it looked like a picture that would accompany a news report and I was thinking along those lines. Upon reading the caption and Ade's comments I was able to have a bit more insight into exactly what was being portrayed (The sign's quite nondescript so I kind of glossed over it at first glance). To touch more on the matter of kosowo(there is no money). It is the issue of greed and corruption in nigeria that has further widened the gap between the rich and the poor. People who are willing to go to any length to ensure that they get to 'arrive'. The mobile phone story is very sad but true.It all has to do with the status quo that most of us are chasing. Afterall, we invented 'flashing'.

Perharps the most interesting thing is that we have these parallels in all societies. In this very developed country that I'm studying in now, the United Kingdom, there are people who out of poverty eat pet food because it is cheap. These people are mostly old people who barely survive on their pensions.Given that these people normally dont have families,(a concept which I find really hard to reconcile with given that I come from a huge family), they sometimes starve. The government, in it's 'infinite wisdom' tries to remove or at least lessen the gap with the use of progressive tax(the more you earn the more tax you pay). This in no way resolving the issue as people feel disincentivised and would rather receive benefits than work. There are cases of people who refused to work because the amount they got from the benefits accrued to them were higher than the actual wages they got when working(they hadnt any proper skills to get proper jobs).

I realise that I've probably moved away from the Nigeria case a bit there. There are so many things we could tell the government to do that could maybe help with the issue of the wealth divide. This is all thoery however and essentially, what is needed to help resolve this problem is the fear of God at the top. Afer that, everything would just fall in place( this could be considered a very naive approach). The government has been trying in its own way by initiating programmes like the poverty alleviation program, better life for rural women(i know these are very old examples do forgive me on this)whilst trying to loot as much money as they could in the process. Which invariably knocked out the good they'd tried to do.

I do apologise once again. I feel like I've just given a lecture on the government and the economy. This is my 2 kobo.



PS: my friend said the picture does say quite a lot of things without having the background disturbing the subject as well since you are focussing on one particular aspect of the photo(so according to her, blur the background a bit more!).
  • Exquisite Eminence
  • 1 Feb 2006, 13:12
I like the photo the way it is...I don't like the situation at home the way it is...
  • Bidemi
  • 1 Feb 2006, 13:44
I think the contrast between the lady and the advertisement says it all. You're doing great work but sometimes it doesn't pay to be too clever (the kind of thing my editors would say;-)).You didn't need to do anything fancy with the picture. Her manner, her posture, the orange she's eating...these all tell you everything you know about the subject matter; poverty and wealth.
  • mr skee
  • 1 Feb 2006, 14:36
Once again I've waited for Bidemi's comment's and agreed totally! Why alter the background? and a matter of fact the fore ground too! Something about the treatment doesn't go down too well with my eyes.
That said! lovely composition, very thought provoking, but I also have to point out that I find this image far too over worked sadly!
  • Ayo
  • 1 Feb 2006, 14:56
Maybe Jide altered the background sub-consciously, Highlighting individual cases of poverty is one thing but the sheer vastness of the situation (which the background highlights) is so much harder to deal with - by us all!
  • Ololade
  • 1 Feb 2006, 18:22
This shot almost made me cry...this is a topic i am very passionate about..The irony of it is almost too painful...all I could imagine was the kind of meal the cable merchant would be having on that same day..no doubt something fancy..[..at least better than the miserable orange this poor woman has to eat]......

When I left home was when i realised how much money is in Nigeria...more importantly the few people that do have it, actually do HAVE ITT!!...All those houses, cars and such...come on! think about it..REMEMBER THERE IS NO DOWN PAYMENT IN NIGERIA...EVRYTHING IS CASH DOWN!...Dont get me wrong; im not saying people shouldnt spend their money as they like....{afterall some of them worked hard for it.}..the question is how many of them actually GIVE BACK to the society...It seems like "every man is for themselves" ALWAYS...some not even caring whose lives they destroy along the way...

@ Ade..Even the poor are consumed by "self-image".....the "IMAGE IS EVERYTHING" mentality almost every Nigerian has is ridiculous... As a result,they get their priorities mixed up..Irrelevant things such as flashy clothes and mobile phones climb to the top of their list...while personal health, and even food suffer as a result...Remember the Maryland beggar they showed on Newsline a couple of years back....he married 3 wives!...GO FIGURE!!!

P.S THE LONG PROSE??...(SORRY!!...Cdnt help it...pardon any shells too..I didn't proof read)
  • David
  • 1 Feb 2006, 23:17
The editing almost ruins it for me.

The selection done on the woman is poor and has created a very distinct "halo" effect around her. It is very obvious. even sitting a few feet away from my computer.
Guys thanks for all your comments. Unfortunately due to my sudden encounter with the flu I cannot put a shot up for tomorrow. I'm sure you'll understand.

Thanks again.
  • olaniyi
  • 2 Feb 2006, 08:36
the woman...oblivious to her surroundings ..engulfed in her poverty or hunger

the sign above..randomly placed..against all planning regulations guiding advert control

the message ..TAKE A LOAD OFF/POVERTY'S PARADISE....everyone else in the background continue to forge ahead with the "NIGERIAN HUSSLE" but the woman breaks away from the madness to replenish.
  • Morenike
  • 2 Feb 2006, 15:28
Don't know if it's just me, but i'm not feeling the poverty/wealth thing you're talking about. Don't get me wrong, the woman (and the whole picture) is represents a malady that pervades the fabric of our society, but the picture seems to lack something by way of contrast.

let me explain and i may be wrong but I don't think Jide was trying to show a contrast between the woman and her environment as she doesn't seem so far away from the scene in the background - it's disorderly and dirty (kind of like the woman's dress sense and the rubbish around her) but despite all of this, everyone's going on with their own business - just look at the lady on the right who looks like she's going somewhere after a hard day's work.

Like Jide said, what he was going for was the disparity between the poor woman and the advert, but even this contrast fails to convey, in my mind, a picture of a big divide, or both subjects, as he put it, being two worlds apart, as the placard, though advertising a piece of fancy equipment, looks rather cheap and unsophisticated (very far away from the billboards you'd get from more upmarket suppliers).

On th contrary, i think olaniyi's words ("TAKE A LOAD OFF/POVERTY'S PARADISE....everyone else in the background continue to forge ahead with the "NIGERIAN HUSSLE but the woman breaks away from the madness to replenish.") are spot on and describe this picture more accurately.

I also think she should have been the sole focus of the picture, which was achieved to some degree. Having said that, i think the colour separation is a bit too sharp on the eye and is a bit of an overkill - may be because of her eccentricity in her choice of clothes (or is it necessity). But what do i know about photography? Nothing!

Amebo.
  • Morenike
  • 2 Feb 2006, 15:31
Poverty and Wealth

Don't know if it's just me, but i'm not feeling the poverty/wealth thing you lot are on about. Don't get me wrong, the woman (and the whole picture) is represents a malady that pervades the fabric of our society, but the picture seems to lack something by way of contrast.

let me explain and i may be wrong but I don't think Jide was trying to show a contrast between the woman and her environment as she doesn't seem so far away from the scene in the background - it's disorderly and dirty (kind of like the woman's dress sense and the rubbish around her) but despite all of this, everyone's going on with their own business - just look at the lady on the right who looks like she's going somewhere after a hard day's work.

Like Jide said, what he was going for was the disparity between the poor woman and the advert, but even this contrast fails to convey, in my mind, a picture of a big divide, or both subjects, as he put it, being two worlds apart, as the placard, though advertising a piece of fancy equipment, looks rather cheap and unsophisticated (very far away from the billboards you'd get from more upmarket suppliers).

On th contrary, i think olaniyi's words ("TAKE A LOAD OFF/POVERTY'S PARADISE....everyone else in the background continue to forge ahead with the "NIGERIAN HUSSLE but the woman breaks away from the madness to replenish.") are spot on and describe this picture more accurately.

I also think she should have been the sole focus of the picture, which was achieved to some degree. Having said that, i think the colour separation is a bit too sharp on the eye and is a bit of an overkill - may be because of her eccentricity in her choice of clothes (or is it necessity). But what do i know about photography? Nothing!

Amebo.

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