"I have taken numerous photos of people peeling potatoes, doing their laundry, mowing their lawn and other daily chores. Wasn't it time for me to enter the big bad world?" Thus, photographer and geographer Ad Nuis deciced to travel to Baku, Azerbaijan: since 2005 home of the world's largest oil pipeline. Nuis' Oil & Paradise ironically examines the newly acquired wealth of the former Soviet state.
Exactly one year ago Azerbaijan, a country under strict dictatorship, organised the Eurovision Songfestival. It turned out to be a unabashed display of new wealth in the country that also competed to get the football World Cup and the Olympics. Human rights are not on its agenda and only a fortunate group of people profites from the country's exuberant wealth. However few people in the western world seem concerned about this. There is too much at stake to do so. As Nuis calls it: "it's geopolitics on a Champions League level".
Between 2008 and 2013 Nuis visited Baku ten times, each time for a period of about 25 days. With Oil & Paradise Nuis portrays the absurd contradictions between the lives of the nouveau riches in Baku and the ordinary citizens of Azerbaijan.
Oil & Paradise by Ad Nuis is an audiovisual installation, edited by Thomas Vroege. An iPad app is under development.