The concept for "Obi's Nightmare" began with a question posed between artist Jamón y Queso and two Guinean writers who have chosen to remain anonymous in the interest of their safety. What would be the worst possible fate to befall President Obiang Nguema, the continent's longest-serving head of state? In Equatorial Guinea, where some 70% of the population survives on less than $2 a day, despite its boasting the highest GDP in Africa, the three friends concluded that his ultimate misfortune would be to spend a single day as an ordinary citizen of his own country—which is to say, without access to education, electricity, healthcare, sanitation, free speech, or the estimated $700M+ in oil payments that he holds in American banks.
This scene takes place on the last day of Obiang’s normal life. Little does he know how different things will be when he wakes up tomorrow in Malabo.—David Shook
© Ramón Esono Ebolé. By arrangement with Phoneme Media and Equatorial Guinea Justice. Translation © 2014 by David Shook. All rights reserved.