“Permanent Error” is a new series from the hyped Nollywood photographer Pieter Hugo. Hugo spent three years documenting the Ghana slums of Agbogbloshie on a dump of trashed, obsolete technology and its scavenging residents.
The Agbogbloshie people survive by burning away the plastic of the electronic waste to glean out copper and other sell-able metals. For the toxic, poisonous dump, “For this place, we have no name,” they say… or call it Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s “a reminder of the alien circumstances that are imposed on marginal communities of the world by the West’s obsession with consumption and obsolesce.”
Unlike the stunning Nollywood series which has been criticized for on racial context and authenticity, there is no purposely played up mondo a-go-go strangeness in the “Permanent Error” series. It’s skillful portraiture of human misery, not without a hint of exploitation and a hope of relief that its exposure could bring.
“Permanent Error,” Pieter Hugos, Jul 29 – Sep 4, Michael Stevenson Gallery, South Africa