Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hyena Men: not just out for a walk

Way back on December 28, 2006 I posted about how Scamorama attracted a publisher's attention: a Brazilian traveler had sent me photos he'd snapped of guys walking hyenas and baboons along a street in Nigeria. He and others thought they might be robbers, circus performers or debt collectors. Or all of the above. Which had nothing to do with '419' scams but was so interesting that I put it on the web site.

Several entities asked to use the pics: the agency designing the cover art for the last Gorillaz album (Demon Days), and then The Disinformation Company, publisher of such books as Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong and 50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know. Which led to publication.

I just stumbled across Hyena Men of Nigeria.
They are a wandering troupe of performers (or strong-arm robbers, according to some locals - robbery at hyena-point).
Photographer Pieter Hugo had apparently stumbled across a Scamorama pic, re-posted (without permission or acknowledgment) by someone else. Intrigued, Hugo went to Nigeria, was lucky enough to hook up with journalist Adetokunbo Abiola, and they did a book together.

So, lots of stumbling:
- Brazilian guy stumbles across hyena men
- Brazilian guy stumbles across Scamorama and sends pics
- art agency & publisher stumble across Scamorama and ask to use pics
- somebody stumbles across Scamorama and simply takes the pics
- Pieter Hugo stumbles across that person's posting
- Adetokunbo Abiola stumbles across Pieter Hugo
- They publish a book through Michael Stevenson, a gallery owner in South Africa with a web site
- Someone stumbles across Michael Stevenson's web site and writes about it
- I stumble across that posting

Serendipity - it's so random.

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