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    'I was with my colleague friend Manon Querouil doing a story on oil companies who are destroying the Niger Delta and rebels who are attacking pipe-lines and kidnapping people. The rebels, known as the Movement of Emancipation of the Niger Delta, and Ateke, their chief, were living hidden in the mangrove….After a few days Ateke fancies Manon and wants to sleep with her. I had to play the big sister role, saying that she can not, she would have to be married. Warlord says fine, he will marry Manon – what’s another wife or two. We said to him that we needed beautiful dresses, a ring and to all our parents. Ateke gave us some money and send a man with us so we can buy our girl things. Of course as soon as we arrived into the city we flew back to France. Ateke is probably still waiting for his evaporated wife.'

    -Reportage by Getty Images photographer Veronique de Viguerie recalls the story behind one her most iconic photos -  Escaping a Marriage Proposal from a Warlord

    'A career in the oil sands may sound good to some people, but really it is the death of their culture because it’s taking the new generation to work toward a completely different way of life. And it’s a way of life that embraces the destruction of their land.

    These people who have hunted this land for a hundred years can read their environment like a book. They know when something’s wrong. They open up an animal, they can see the health of that animal by how it looks. The industry and the government don’t really take that knowledge seriously.’

    Our friend and former Reportage Emerging Talent Ian Willms’s work from the the First Nations land in Alberta, Canada, was featured on NYT Lens blog yesterday. Read more - An Indigenous Way of Life Threatened by Oil Sands in Canada

    Oil has often brought tumultuous change to the region under which it is discovered. Geologists and oil companies have long known that the Bakken oil field under North Dakota existed, but, until the development of efficient fracking technology, there was no cost-effective way of extracting it. That has changed, and so has Williston, ND. The deluge of oil workers arriving in town has caused a spike in crime and a severe housing shortage. Rental prices rival those in Manhattan, and workers sleep in their cars or in the local church. Despite this, the lure of high-paying jobs will likely continue to draw hordes to Williston.

    See more from Charles Ommanney’s ‘The Promised Land’ here.

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