Entry Title: "Essence du Bénin"
Javier Corso
, Spain
Category: Professional,

Entry Description:

In Benin, a country bordering Nigeria, a vast network of illegal
trafficking of Nigerian petrol exists. Benin does not have enough
petrol stations to cover the population. It also cannot compete
with Nigerian petrol prices, as Nigeria is the leading producer of
petrol in Africa. From this need emerged a lucrative business
opportunity. Four decades ago, Beninese traffickers started to
buy petrol in Nigeria to sell it in roadside stalls around the
country, at a price lower than it is in the stations. The trafficking
bosses have reached a lot of power in Benin. Politicians and
police have surrendered to them. Many women, people with
disabilities, university students and even children depend on
this activity. The streets of Porto Novo, the capital, are full of
traffickers who transport drums of petrol by motorbike. They
are known as human bombs, because they often have
accidents when the petrol they transport explodes.

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About the Artist:

Javier Corso is a photographer, founder and director at OAK stories (documentary agency). His photographic work originates from the need to communicate about aspects of the human condition through means of local, smaller-scale stories. Corso began working as a documentary photographer in 2011. His projects have been published, awarded and exhibited worldwide. Among the cultural centers that have hosted and exhibited his projects, the following stand out; The Cervantes Institute in New York, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and the International PHOTON Festival in Valencia (Spain).