Ghanaian sculptor Brahim El Anatsui's father was a master weaver who taught the tradition of strip-weaving Kente cloths to his sons. This textile technique has become a staple of El Anatsui's art: he amasses and refashions the debris from his community to create majestic, visual narratives that address his personal history and global issues like environmental sustainability. The North American premiere of his four-decade career retrospective When I Last Wrote to You About Africa is at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, having been extended to Feb. 27.
In August and December 2008, two major oil spills disrupted the lives of the 69,000 or so people living in Bodo, a town in Ogoniland in the Niger Delta. Both spills continued for weeks before they were stopped. Three years on, the prolonged failure of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (Shell), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, to clean up the oil that was spilled, continues to have catastrophic consequences for the Bodo community.