Thursday, 15 May 2008

Mother Africa and the Diaspora

I have just returned from a two and a half week trip to Nigeria, reluctantly might I add!
Having been born and breed in London, England, I fall under the term Diaspora, however I haven't felt more Nigerian in my entire life!

Probably the most widely appreciated art-form in Nigeria is music and the appreciation of Nigerian music within its borders and on the continent continues to grow. Contemporary music gains support not only from the public but arts awards seem to be directed this way (at least by the British Council Lagos).

Literature is also at a high standard with writers such as Chimamanda Adichie shining a limelight onto Nigeria, both Historically and culturally ( side note: Wole Soyinka was on my flight back I was so star struck). I myself have been a fan of Nigerian literature for about two years, working my way through Chinua Achebe (No Longer at Ease), Peju Alatishe (Orita Meta) and Helon Habila (Waiting for an Angel) to name a few. During this trip I made my way through Yellow Yellow by Kaine Agary, which highlighted issues around the Niger Delta that fed nicely into my visit to the Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos (CCA Lagos), run by Curator Bisi De Silva.

The current exhibition Paradise Lost: Revisiting the Niger Delta is a solo exhibition by photographer George Osodi, raising similar issues around the major oil companies and their treatment of the people living around the Niger Delta area. The images are thought provoking, hard hitting and sincere to the everyday issue faced by the residents.

CCA Lagos is a great spot for contemporary art, comprised of a gallery and library space over two floors. With regularly held artists talks and collaborations with various other arts institutes, this is a useful resource for Nigeria's contemporary arts.

CCA Lagos
9 McEwen Street,
tel: +2341 7913274


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