2015 Photo Contest, General News, 2nd prize

Mass Abduction in Nigeria


Glenna Gordon

for The Wall Street Journal / Time

08 May, 2014

Hauwa Nkeki’s notebook.

On 14 April 2014, 276 girls were abducted from their school dormitory in Chibok, a remote town in Northern Nigeria, by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. Schools in the area had been shut down due to Boko Haram attacks, but the girls had returned to sit their final exams. Boko Haram (whose name translates roughly as ‘Western education is forbidden’) seeks the establishment of an Islamic state in Nigeria, and opposes the concentration of wealth among what it sees as a Christian elite in the south of the country. The group opposes secular education, especially for girls, and has for some years been attacking schools, killing civilians, kidnapping pupils, and conducting forced recruitment into its ranks. Around 50 of the Chibok girls managed to escape, but the fate of the remainder remains unclear. Efforts by the Nigerian government to rescue them or negotiate their release proved ineffective, although a hashtag campaign, #BringBackOurGirls, led to extensive media attention.

About the photographer

Glenna Gordon

Glenna Gordon first visited Africa in 2006 after she’d finished her master's in print journalism. Her work is a combination of personal projects and assignments in Africa and els...

Technical information

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Canon EOS 5D Mark III

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