As students remember their experiences living at the forefront of the Boko Haram conflict, their stories often sound like a dark folktale somewhere between the real and the imagined. The act of remembering past traumatic experiences doesn’t fit neatly into a timeframe. Each retelling creates a third space, an alternate reality that is timeless and unresolved.
The students photographed here often have stories to tell about the killed, injured and abducted. But beyond this contemporary conflict, the project explores the school site as a concept embedded in Nigerian history as a symbol of the colonial encounter and reflects on the idea of a collective memory that connects the student body and the idealisation of an education system that is falling apart.
“Education is Forbidden” is a deeply layered mixed media engagement about the aftermath of conflict, the nature of memory and the echoes and consequences of colonial education in north eastern Nigeria. The project was supported by a grant by the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF).