Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Photography Workshop

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos in fulfillment of its objectives, has over the past 23months presented an innovative programme of exhibitions, talks, seminars, workshops and events reaching out to a local, African and global audience. We are pleased to present the 2010 programme, On Independence and The Ambivalence of Promise.

We start this landmark year for Nigeria and the African continent with an ambitious and innovative Fine Art Photography workshop focusing not so much on technique but on methodology, critical thinking, conceptual ideas and their implementation.

This project is open to artists in Nigeria and around Africa working in all media - painting, sculpture, textile, ceramics, photography, video and new media, performance art, writing, theatre and dance. The workshop will be an intensive 30 day programme facilitated by experienced local and international artists, critics, curators starting on the 8th of February till 6th of March 2010

The content of the programme will be based on several components such as:

* Explore themes around Independence and the Post-Colony
* Discover methodologies and strategies for the development of your artistic practice
* 1-on-1 artist portfolio reviews of your work with leading local and international artists and curators
* Develop your critical thinking skills and explore ways of implementing them into your practice
* Engage with the history of photography and its conceptual dimensions
* Work will be featured in the final exhibition and publication

Workshop facilitators and guests speakers include leading professionals in their field:

1. Phillipe Pirotte (Belgium/Switzerland)
2. Heta Kucha (Finland)
3. Giovanni Carmini (Switzerland)
4. Simon Njami (Cameroon),
5. Tam Fiofori (Nigeria)
6. Daniella Wennberg (Norway)
7. Miriam Backstrom (Sweden),
8. Jide Adeniyi Jones (Nigeria)
9. Rosangela Renno (Brazil)
10. Senam Okudzeto (Ghana)
11. Mats Stjernstedt (Sweden)
12. Carrie Schneider (USA)
13. Elina Brotherus (Finland)

Project Conceived and developed by curators Aura Seikkula (Finland) and Bisi Silva (Nigeria)

Registration open until November 27, 2009.
For additional information please contact Project Co-ordinator antawan@ccalagos.org

Thursday, 19 November 2009

P.A.G.E.S @ CCA,Lagos Saturday 21st November


Date: Saturday, November 21, 2009
Time: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Centre for Contemporary Art, 9 McEween Street, behind Domino Dinners, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos.

P.A.G.E.S, the confluence of literature, art works, comics and photography brings together two patriots and compatriots in dialogue with their country - Nigeria with their art and literature. This programme is designed to converge fictionist, poets and playwrights, arts and literary lovers at Art Exhibition Halls around the world to give literary interpretation to the works being exhibited and dialogue around it at all time.

We've in the pass hosted: Jude Dibia, a published writer with two books in an exhibition titled "Like A Virgin," Onyeka Nwelue, a young and dynamic young author in an exhibition tagged "The World is Flat," and Toni Kan, the author of many books in an exhibition titled "Trash-ing."


Identity: An Imagined State, brings together for the first time works by twelve established and emerging artists of different cultural, geographic and social backgrounds from Nigeria, Africa, and South America. Their works consider from both local and global perspective, the issues around identity in relation to Africa. As a point of departure, the exhibition explores associations with the label ‘African’ and has been contextualized in a manner that reflects on, but without answering, ‘what or who is an African.’ By exploring these themes the exhibition tells the story of belonging, displacement, uncertainty, visibility and negotiation through the medium of video art.

Participating artists include Jude Anogwih(Nig), Lucy Azubuike(Nig), Uchay Joel Chima(Nig), Luc Fosther Diop(CAM), Bouchra Khalili(MOR/FR), Vanessa Padilla(ECU), Thando Mama(SA), Grace Ndiritu(KEN/UK), Emeka Ogboh(NIG), Berni Searle(SA), Aicha Thiam(SEN) and Kemang Wa Lehulere(SA)

FYNE ArtDICTION opens 22nd November at Southern Sun Lagos

Monday, 26 October 2009

Identity:An Imagined State

Curated by Jude Anogwih and Oyinda Fakeye
Opening: Saturday,31st October 2009, 3pm
Exhibition continues till 28th November, 2009

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present the first international exhibition of Video Art in Nigeria Identity:An Imagined State, which constitutes the final part of a year long focus on the medium. In fulfilment of our objectives to provide a platform for artistic diversity and experimentation, CCA,Lagos focused on a specific medium over a twelve month period hosting a one week video art workshop with One Minute Foundation and a two week workshop Linha Imaginaria conceived by Angolan Artist Miguel Petchkovsky and co-facilitated with Camerounian artist Goddy Leye and Brazilian Artist Eustaquio Neves.

Identity: An Imagined State, brings together for the first time works by twelve established and emerging artists of different cultural, geographic and social backgrounds from Nigeria, Africa, and South America. The works consider from both local and global perspective, the issues around identity in relation to Africa. As a point of departure, the exhibition explores associations with the label ‘African’ and has been contextualized in a manner that reflects on, but without answering, ‘what or who is an African.’ By exploring these themes the exhibition tells the story of belonging, displacement, uncertainty, visibility and negotiation through the medium of video art.

Participating artists include Jude Anogwih(Nig), Lucy Azubuike(Nig), Uchay Joel Chima(Nig), Luc Fosther Diop(CAM), Bouchra Khalili(MOR/FR), Vanessa Padilla(ECU), Thando Mama(SA), Grace Ndiritu(KEN/UK), Emeka Ogboh(NIG), Berni Searle(SA), Aicha Thiam(SEN) and Kemang Wa Lehulere(SA).

Identity: An Imagined State is accompanied by a fully illustrated colour publication with insightful texts by Krydz Ikwuemesi, Miguel Petchkovsky, Goddy Leye, Solange Farkas, introduction by Bisi Silva and afterword by Antawan I. Byrd.

Public Programme
Identity: An Imagined State is accompanied by a innovative and engaging line-up of educational and artists development programmes including Artists' Talks, Panel Discussions, the well received P.A.G.E.S session organised by Aderemi Adegbite, writers workshop collaboration with WiAiA (Word into Art into Africa), several complementary video art screening sessions and a 2 day introductory video art workshop. Organised by Jude Anogwih and Oyinda Fakeye

CCA,Lagos' Video Art Programme has received generous support from the Prince Claus Fund and Mondriaan Foundation.

For More Press Information and Images Contact Oyinda Fakeye, ,

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Designers Workshop @ Swahili Fashion Week

The Swahili Fashion Week is a coming together of talented designers from across Tanzania under one stand to showcase their unique and truly African creations. This is not only a potential point for existing designers but also an opportune moment for upcoming aspiring designers in the country.

The Swahili Fashion Week will take place from November 4th-6th 2009 in Dar es Salaam.
As Part of the event a special workshop has been designed in order to engage futher with designers. Please find attached below a copy of the application form which must be filled and returned to info@daressalaam.goethe.org or info@swahilifashionweek.com by 23 october 09

GOETHE INSTITUTE & SFW in association with VODACOM & ZTE

Questionnaire for Fashion Designers Workshop
(Please fill this form online and send it back to info@daressalaam.goethe.org or info@swahilifashionweek.com the latest by 23 october 09)

Questionnaire to apply for the Fashion workshop during the Swahili Fashion Week
By and at the Goethe-Institut Tanzania

Conducted by: Uta Heinig (Germany)
Organised by: Goethe-Institut Tanzania and the Swahili Fashion Week
Workshop on Planning a Collection & Labelling/Marketing
03.-05.11.2009 from 10 am – 4 pm
Please only apply when you are ready for teamwork, for practical exercises and provided that you are available for all workshop days.

Company/Institution if any:………………………………………………………………

1. What’s your perspective on the Tanzanian Fashion situation (Education, Industry) in the next 5-10 years? Please justify.

2. Briefly describe what makes your design/creativity unique, and why?…………………………………………………………………………………………………..…………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………………………………………………………………………………………

3. Please advice why you should be selected to attend the workshop?

4. If you will be selected, what would you do with the knowledge gained?

5. How did you hear about the workshop (e.g. from the media, E-list, from a friend…)?

For more information on the workshop please contact:

Ulrike Schwerdtfeger and Mustafa Hassanali
Goethe-Institut Tansania
Alykhan Road No. 63, Upanga
P.O. Box 9541
Dar es Salaam, Tansania
Tel./Fax: +255 – 22 – 213 4800
Web: www.goethe.de/tansania
E-mail: info@daressalaam.goethe.org

For more information on Swahili Fashion Week visit: http://www.swahilifashionweek.com/

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Precedents and Currents

an exhibition curated by
Nwafor Uju Nkiruka Jane


Precedents and Currents
Media reports have shown that demonstrations over poor public service in South Africa have soared since the past few years. In some of the protests, police fired rubber bullets at protesters who were demonstrating over the grim housing conditions they are forced to live in. Other upsetting riots, where foreigners were either killed or have their properties looted and burnt, featured recurrent elements of xenophobia. These instances of violent or sometimes peaceful protests inspired the theme of this exhibition.

Precedents and Currents is an exhibition that intends to see how these recent occurrences relate to the violent protests that happened during the apartheid era. One may assume that many were hopeful for improved and positive change in their lives and living conditions with the new democracy but that is yet to be fully realized in the post-apartheid era. Perhaps issues concerning housing, education, employment and land restitution that were not properly dealt with during apartheid are still re-surfacing again, generating xenophobic and violent protests. This exhibition, which was inspired by resistance protests, employs materials from the University of the Western Cape/Robben Island Museum Mayibuye archive to interrogate the concept of service delivery and to bring the audience's attention to the interrelatedness of the past to the present.
Photographers and artists whose works are exhibited include Dave Hartman, Omar Badsha, Paul Weinberg, Billy Paddock, Gill de Vlieg, Guy Tillim, Eli Weinberg, Andrew Lamprecht, Selma Waldman and Tyrone Appollis .

For more information visit www.ujunki.blogspot.com

Monday, 28 September 2009

Prêt-à-Partager: a transnational exchange in art fashion and sport

Un échange transculturel autour de l’art, de la mode et du sport
- Du lundi au samedi 11 H - 19 H
- Galerie Le Manège
- Entrée libre

En partenariat avec le Goethe-Institut

Vernissage le mardi 29 septembre à 18h30
Colloque le 30 septembre au Goethe-Institut de Dakar, à 18h30, en présence des artistes.(Point E, Rue Diourbel x piscine Olympique)

Une réflexion sur la mode, l’identité, l’histoire et le mouvement à travers les œuvres de 15 artistes réunis à l’initiative de l’Institut pour les Relations Culturelles avec l’Étranger (IFA) lors d’un workshop organisé à Dakar en novembre 2008 dans le cadre des Semaines culturelles allemandes.

La Galerie Le Manège est heureuse d’accueillir l’exposition Prêt-à-partager, proposée par le Goethe-Institut de Dakar. Cet événement marquera la deuxième étape d’une collaboration débutée en octobre 2008 avec l’exposition photographique Deutsche Vita de Stefan Moses, collaboration que Le Manège souhaite riche et pérenne. Regroupant 15 artistes et plus de 32 œuvres (110 photographies, vidéos, films, installations sonores et dans l’espace, créations de mode, sérigraphie), cette exposition témoigne du dynamisme et du brio de la création africaine contemporaine et de son potentiel à enrichir ses formes esthétiques et conceptuelles au contact d’artistes d’autres cultures. Lors de ces rencontres, les créateurs originaires d’Afrique et d’Europe se sont fait les vecteurs d’influences provenant des métropoles que sont Berlin, Kinshasa, Dakar, Londres, Stuttgart, Douala, Hambourg et Johannesburg, influences qui ont toutes convergé vers la capitale dakaroise.

Ainsi, Zohra Opoku met en scène dans les rues de Dakar un Jump Suits inspiré de la capoeira ; Astrid S. Klein installe ses œuvres dans des locaux de cinémas désaffectés, illustrant ainsi les mutations économiques et sociétales telles qu’elles se manifestent dans le paysage urbain de Dakar ; Nafissatou Diop joue au jeu du dévoilement et de la dissimulation avec des ensembles de lingerie, comme autant d’assertions esthétiques fascinantes sur les politiques du corps et du genre ; Ule Barcélos travestit des vêtements bon marché en y ajoutant marques et décorations à la manière des enfants et adolescents des milieux les moins favorisés ; Akinbode Akinbiyi livre au spectateur les coulisses du projet avec une série de photographies prises au cours du workshop... Autant d’expressions formelles qui interrogent le lien entre la mode et l’art aujourd’hui. Ce sont les 32 œuvres qui matérialisent le fruit de ce travail qui seront présentées dans le cadre de l’exposition Prêt-à-partager. Itinérante, cette exposition inaugurée à Dakar sera ensuite présentée pendant deux ans sur tout le continent africain.

Artistes exposés :

Akinbode Akinbiyi (Nigéria)
Ule Barcélos (Guinée-Bissau / Portugal / Allemagne)
Ndiaga Diaw (Sénégal)
Nafissatou Diop (Sénégal)
Simone Gilges (Allemagne)
Mamadou Gomis (Sénégal)
Zille Homma Hamid (Pakistan / Allemagne)
Astrid S. Klein (Allemagne)
Goddy Leye (Cameroun)
Philip Metz (Ghana / Allemagne)
Lambert Mousseka (République démocratique de Congo / Allemagne)
Zohra Opoku (Ghana / Allemagne)
Friedrich M. Ploch (Allemagne)
Athi-Patra Ruga (Afrique de sud)
Lolo Veleko (Afrique du Sud)

The prêt-à-partager exhibition is a transnational artistic dialogue on fashion, sport, Africa and its Diaspora. These collected works take the varied meanings and possibilities of clothing and fashion as determined by society and individuals and explore them in myriad ways that go beyond their function as consumer goods or economic factors. The Dakar metropolitan area serves as the stage for the protagonists of a world in constant flux, where concepts of identity are fluid.
The artists have utilised the tapestries of their own history and familiarisation with new cultural practices to develop striking works, hybrid creations which are socially explosive.

The artworks presented in the exhibition originated in the prêt-à-partager workshop in Dakar in November 2008. The exhibition which was curated by Elke aus dem Moore and Sandrine Micosse will go on a two-year tour of different countries in West, East and South Africa.

Independence Day Talk at CCA,Lagos, Thursday 1st of October at 2pm‏

Centre for Contemporary Art,Lagos is pleased to present its public programme on Thursday 1st of October as follows

Date Thursday 1st October 2009
Time 2pm (prompt o)
Venue - CCA,Lagos 9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Yaba

Artist Kainebi Osahenye talks about his exhibition Trash-ing with CCA,Lagos Director Bisi Silva.
They are then joined in a panel discussion on the State of Painting in Nigeria by Uche Edochie and Jess Castellote

3.30pm - Refreshments

4. 00pm Talk by Giles Peppiat, MRICS, Director, Bonhams
Mr Peppiat's talk will give an overview of the international auction house Bonhams as well as focus on the contemporary African art sales within an international context.

Giles Peppiatt studied at St. Andrews University before joining Bonhams in 1989. In 1993 he trained as an auctioneer and conducted his first auction in that year. In 1997 he qualified as a ‘Chartered Arts & Antiques Surveyor’ with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Giles is also the world leading expert on South African Art and in 2007 he established the first ever London auction devoted entirely to South African artists, “The South African Sale”. These sales have now established London as the global centre for South African Art with the turnover in 2008 in excess of $20 million.

In 2008 Giles organised and curated the first ever commercial auction of modern and contemporary African art to have been held in London. The sale was titled ‘Africa Now’ and was an enormous success. The auction showcased some of the best works in this field and was a new fresh manner to extend Bonham’s already powerful reach in this area. The sale included work by El Anatsui, Ben Enwonwu, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Malagatana and many others.

The next ‘Africa Now’ sale will be held in February 2010 in Bonham’s Madison Avenue galleries in New York.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Contemporary Photography Market: Trends and Opportunities, organised in association with ArtInsight.

Join key figures from the world of photography. Including Jeffrey Boloten, Managing Director ArtInsight, Matt Carey-Williams, Christies European Private Sales Director, Zelda Cheatle, Tosca Photography Fund and Brett Rogers, Director, The Photographers' Gallery.

The seminar is followed by a drinks reception and curator led tour of the exhibition André Kertész: On Reading.

Tickets: £75.00

For more information and to book email Jeffrey Bolotenon on jeffrey@artinsight.co.uk

16 - 18 Ramillies Street
London W1F 7LW
Tel: +44 (0)845 262 1618
Fax: +44 (0)20 7836 9704
Email: info@photonet.org.uk

WiAiA comes to Lagos - Call for Applications



From 27 October to 4 November 2009, SPARCK will host the first WiAiA: an international workshop dedicated to innovative writing and publishing about contemporary creation in the African world.

WiAiA stands for Word into Art into Africa. WiAiA is designed to address the need, and to respond to active calls from arts practitioners with whom SPARCK collaborates, for (more) creative and (more) ethically engaged writing about the production of contemporary art in the African world – writing that addresses in original ways intersections between the arts and social, political and economic concerns in a globalised world.

The goal of these workshops is to provide a platform for fostering such writing and to assist in developing a strong readership for it. In the middle and longer term, WiAiA’s aim is to connect, grow and sustain a community of young writers who will shape, share and propel the engaged discourse of the workshops as part of an ongoing online publication project.
The Lagos workshop is the first in a series of three intimate and highly focused writers’ workshops, which will be staged in 2009-2010 in three cities: Lagos, Dakar and Kinshasa.
Each workshop will take the form of a master class and revolve around a particular art form. Each will take place in parallel with an emergent festival or exhibition WiAiA Lagos will focus on writing about contemporary dance and related performance genres (experimental circus; martial and trance arts; social dancing with historical roots in community activism). WiAiA Dakar will address writing on experimental video and WiAiA Kinshasa will centre on writing about installation art and network thinking.


Each class will be facilitated by a team of two practitioners: an established writer and an artist, each of whose work highlights intersections between creative processes and political and ethical engagement. WiAiA Lagos will occur in tandem with Ewa BamiJo, an innovative festival of contemporary dance and performance founded by the much-heralded Nigerian choreographer and dancer Qudus Onikeku. The workshop will be facilitated by Onikeku and award-winning London-based writer and blogger Sokari Ekine.


Participants in each of the three workshops will be confirmed, full-time writers. While an interest on their part in art as a subject will naturally be relevant, it is not expected that the participants will be art critics. A key focus, in all three workshops, is to encourage thinking out of the box: reflection that questions and challenges disciplinary boundaries. Participants as well as facilitators will accordingly hail from a range of fields. They will be journalists, essayists, poets, novelists and short story writers, bloggers and/or spoken word artists.

SPARCK has established and is further growing plans with several culture-focused websites in Africa, Europe and North America to publish on a regular basis for a period of two years short pieces by WiAiA writers on contemporary creation in the African world. Participation in WiAiA Lagos will accordingly not be a one-time short-term venture. It will involve serious, sustained writing both during the workshop itself and following the workshop. Participants actively engaged in the process can expect to be published in highly visible online fora read across the African world.

Applications to participate in WiAiA Lagos are sought from published writers as well as writers aspiring to be published. Particular consideration will be given to applicants who have a demonstrated interest in developing original approaches to writing about contemporary culture and creativity as they relate to globally driven social, economic and political phenomena and for whom writing is an integral part of a larger, ethically engaged and forward-thinking vision of life in a global world.
Participants shall be selected from an open call for submissions. The number of participants will be kept small (4-5 participants per workshop) to ensure that the experience is direct and intense and that it requires of all involved a highly personal investment.

All participants will be persons (hailing) from and/or based in West Africa, typically (though not exclusively) in Nigeria. Travel assistance may be provided for participants living outside Lagos.


Workshop participants will attend the entirety of the Ewa BamiJo festival (27-31 October 2009). The workshop proper will begin immediately following the festival, on 1 November 2009, and will last 4 days, ending on 4 November 2009. Participation throughout both the festival and the workshop proper will be full-time and will involve daily evening events and writing projects.

The language of the Lagos workshop will be English.

Accommodation, meals during the workshop and transportation to and from all events associated with the workshop will be provided.


Persons interested in participating in the workshop are invited to apply with the following materials:

• Detailed CV

• Letter stating why WiAiA is of interest to the applicant

• Submission of at least two (but no more than 5) writing samples:

- 1 manuscript of no less than 10 pages single spaced, published or in progress:

= a collection of 10 (or more) poems
= or 1 chapter (or more) of a novel
= or 1 short story
= or 1 essay
= or 1 article
= or 1 play
= or a combination of the above


- 1 text developed for the present workshop submission, of no fewer than 5 pages single spaced: an essay, article, short story, poem or related form that addresses/points to questions relating to contemporary art/creativity.

The deadline for submissions from writers interested in participating in WiAiA Lagos is September 20, 2009. Applications will be screened by the WiAiA Lagos facilitators and the SPARCK team. The names of selected candidates will be announced on 10 October 2009. Nomination will be by majority vote.

Applications should be sent by email no later than midnight on September 20, 2009 to the following email address:


Queries are welcome at the above-cited address.

For more information on SPARCK, the Africa Centre and Ewa BamiJo, see:
SPARCK – Space for Pan-African Research, Creation and Knowledge on Facebook

Thursday, 10 September 2009

London African Music Festival

11th-13th September 2009

Since 2003 the London African Music Festival has been at the forefront of new African music and this year is no exception, with the festival featuring true legends – Oliver Mtukudzi, Lord Eric Sugumugu, the leader of the mighty Master Drummers of Africa, who premiers his new acoustic group, and maverick jazz organist Ed Bentley who leads his new high energy group that fuses hi-life with funk and jazz solos. As always it features women leaders with this year’s stars including The Yoruba Women Choir, Uganda’s diva Rachel Magoola, contemporary jazz saxophonist YolanDa Brown and Hilary Mwelwa leads her remarkable group, Hil St Soul.

For more info and full listings check out: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/festivals-series/london-african-music-festival

TRASH-ING new works by Kainebi Osahenye @ CCA, Lagos

Opening: Saturday, 12th September 2009, 3pm
Exhibition continues till 10th October 2009

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present an exhibition of
new mixed media and painterly installations by acclaimed Lagos based artist
Kainebi Osahenye. With over twenty years of artistic practice, this current
incarnation Trash-ing builds on the continuous process of experimentation
which has pushed the boundaries of his painting.

Trash-ing signals a new departure from his well-known large-scale
neo-expressionist paintings towards the incorporation of more conceptual
concerns through a format that increasingly borrows from an installation
orientated process. Losing none of his gestural signature strokes, nor the
luminosity of his colours or the edginess of his subject matter, Trash-ing
highlights some of the issues that have pervaded his work for over a decade.
In the recent works these existential, political, religious and everyday
themes which habitually manifested with a degree of playfulness are
presented less implicitly in favour of a suggestiveness which attests to the
state of maturity he has attained in his career.

Osahenye moves seamlessly from the metaphysical to the physical, from the
unreal to the real, foregrounding issues for which he is well-known and
expanding on others such as globalisation, consumerism, man’s inhumanity and
the environment forming the entral(nodal) focus of this new body of work. In
so doing the exhibition’s title succeeds in playing on the multiple
connotations of the word to ‘trash’ to signify destruction, abuse, rejection
and waste. It also serves as an explicit reminder on the one hand of man’s
disregard for one other and on the other, towards the environment.

Using appropriation as a tool, Osahenye’s most ambitious work to date is the
ceiling to wall installation titled ‘Casualty’, 2009. Made of thousand of
beer cans, the work is less about the ‘trendy’ fad in recycling than in
acknowledging the limitation of the traditional mode of painting whilst
simultaneously recognising the abilities and the possibilities of pushing
boundaries without losing the essence of the painterly. On sighting the
burnt cans near a garbage dump of a hotel in Auchi, Osahenye states that he
‘was instantly confronted with thoughts of war, cruelty, melancholy, pain,
displacement, anguish and deformity and I started conceiving ways to install
this large scale work to express the force and the power that I felt.’ Whether
the totality of this and other works of the artist marks the beginning of
the ‘new’ face of contemporary Nigerian painting remains to be seen.

Trash-ing is a collaboration between Kainebi Osahenye Studios and CCA,Lagos.
The exhibition has been organised by CCA,Lagos Project Co-Ordinator/Artist, Jude Anogwih.

Open Mon – Fri 10am – 6pm
Sat 12-5pm (Sun by appointment only)
Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos
9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Yaba


Osahenye raises the bar with TRASH-ING

In no distant future, Kainebi Osahenye’s art works will become part of the cannons for appraising Nigerian artists’ transformation from regular paintings to digital credible forms of conceptual art and global acceptance. Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME previews his TRASH-ING, a solo art exhibition opening on September 12, at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos.

For every exhibition, it is one step ahead of many. His bright colourful figurative and giant size canvasses are some of the characteristics of his ever evolving approach to art. And for many of his outings (Crosses of Life, The cross took me for a walk and Erasures), he focused on issues inherent in cruciform, (crosses) and crossroads, which are commentaries on salvation and survival in a country of plenty.

With the current exhibition, TRASH-ING, Osahenye has left no one in doubt of his direction- credible forms of contextual art- at a period most of his colleagues are not hungry for global validation.

Over the past few years, Osahenye, has gradually raised the bar of contemporary art from the regular bright and bold colourful paintings to installation works that interrogate the system using local contents, especially discarded found items. As a deliberate approach, he offers few large size paintings to pass his strong messages.

Expectedly, the artist will be showing only seven installation works, which the host gallery, Bisi Silva’s CCA, Lagos is noted for since it opened to public in December 2007. All the seven works are large scale installations made from empty plastic water bottles, flattened paint tubes, patches of papers and empty soft drink cans to create different pieces.

Osahenye uses Casualty, a collection of empty soft drink cans laced together to form a contain-like objects that overflow from the ceiling downward to the floor. This reminds viewers of the many calamities of war, famine, pollution and pains people go through in life. Below these cans is a heap of other cans spreading on floor. In between the stringed cans are flags of some countries regarded as hotspots where genocide and mass killings of people are everyday occurrence. Beyond war, Casualty is a strong commentary on environmental protection and global warming issues. For aesthetics, the multiple colours that arose from the burning effect will be better appreciated in a well-lit gallery space, which of course, CCA, Lagos can boast of.

But in Reservoir, Osahenye simply reveals the poor state of Nigeria’s infrastructures, especially pipe borne water, which is almost non- available in most cities and rural communities. He strings together cuts of empty water bottles and stocks them on top of one another into eight-foot cubes measuring about 8ft 4ins high. The lower bottles carry bright colours while the top are without colours, indicating the state of reservoirs including the nation’s foreign reserves.

Another striking work that every painter will give a second look is Crossing, a collection of 34 panels of empty flattened paint tubes nailed to the board. The panels because of its rectangular shape reveal the boundary and border issues addressed in the artist’s past shows while at the same time capturing the cruciform. Significantly, Crossing is a reminder to other artists that what they consider as wastes are items of beauty and capable of provoking thoughts that will shape people’s views. According to Prof. Sylvester Ogbechie, Osahenye’s works deal with humanity’s struggle against subjection and project the artist into definable contexts of conflict.

"The more resolutely anti-commercialism an art work is, the more easily it is integrated into a discourse of art in which its commercialist stance becomes precisely the selling point of the artwork, thus making it more marketable, at least for the cadre of globe-trotting artists represented at the major international biennales and contemporary art fairs," Ogbechie said, adding that the artist’s work is as sophisticated as any piece in any biennale in recent time. Other installations for showing include Crowd and Black out.

The Delta state born fine artist, who runs a private studio in Auchi, said the installation works would be exhibited without prices, but are for sale. He explained that his desire to experiment and know influenced his current direction. "I have always wanted to challenge myself and see how much I can do. Sometime, I ask myself what am I looking for? Now, I have started thinking of a single installation work that will stun viewers. In fact, I am just looking for new ways to express myself…Even if many artists are comfortable, some will still not do crazy works like these. What matters is exposure, not the pressure to provide bread on the table. Right now, I find it difficult to mix oil in a regular palette. I still paint but I am exploring many media while the traditional medium will gradually take the back seat," Osahenye said. TRASH-ING will run till October 10 at CCA, Lagos.

Artsadmin Weekenders

Six intensive weekend workshops led by artists renowned for their approaches to making, facilitation and participation.

Artsadmin’s Weekenders are open to all practitioners regardless of level of experience; all that is required is an openness to meet, talk, play, perform and collaborate. Come to one or all – each Weekender operates as a stand-alone while the series as a whole offers an opportunity to work with an outstanding range of artists.

Weekenders will be led by Graeme Miller, Stacy Makishi, Chris Goode, Lone Twin, Anne Bean and Blast Theory.

Curated by the advisory team at Artsadmin, the series reflects a wide range of performance practices. The content of each Weekender will be unique to the lead artist, reflective of their practice and responsive to the group of participants.

Booking :
£60 per weekend
Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 5pm
Please be sure you can attend both days

All places subsidised by Artsadmin

Venue :
Toynbee Studios, London E1 6AB

Book online http://tinyurl.com/artsadminweekenders
Book by telephone on 020 7650 2350 (Mon-Fri 1-6pm)

Graeme Miller : 26 – 27 September
Stacy Makishi : 24 – 25 October
Chris Goode : 28 – 29 November
Gary Winters (Lone Twin) : 30 – 31 January 2010
Anne Bean : 27 – 28 February 2010
Ju Row-Farr : 27 – 28 March 2010

Full details of each Weekender can be found at http://artsadmin.co.uk/opportunities/bursary.php?id=13

I've been away, but I'm back now!!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

CCA,Lagos Talk on Sat 29th Aug, 2pm with Anaele Iroh, Phd‏


Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos has been running an innovative and dynamic programme focusing on art and ideas through dialogues, talks, fulfilling our objectives to galvanise the Lagos art scene with critical and artistic cultural programming. Since opening just over 18months ago we have presented the artistic, theoretical and curatorial practice of over 30 professionals. We are pleased to present the work of Anaele Iroh who will be speaking on his research led creative practice. He will discuss his methodology and the resultant artistic work.


VENUE 9 McEwen Street, Sabo, Yabo, Lagos

Research Led Creative Practice: A Case for an Interdisciplinary Art Practice.

Iroh will focus on the relationship between art and
ethnography materialised in his visually led ethnographic research and
creative practice project on Nigerian migrant families in Ireland
entitled, ‘Framing the Nigerian Transnational Family: New Formations
in Ireland.’ It will demonstrate how the disciplinary practices of art
and anthropology can be strategically put in a dialectical and
mutually complimentary relation.

Starting from the material and archival terrain of the migrant family
photo album as a repository of cultural memory Iroh's work utilises visual
ethnography, social and cultural theory and art practice to
interrogate the subject of Nigerian transnational family life in
Ireland, operating in and across spaces of social exclusion and
regimentation, settled and mainstream Irish society and spaces of

He will demonstrate the deployment of visual practice strategies in the
processes of ethnographic representation and discuss how the anxieties
of migration which he experienced during his fieldwork mediated by family
photographs shaped the construction of an art practice that
problematised difference, marginality and anonymity within the context
of transnational migration.

Anaele Iroh holds a PhD. in Visual Cultural Studies from Dublin
Institute of Technology, Ireland and is currently a visiting assistant
professor of Cultural Studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. He has
published a number of articles on migration and visual practice and
has spoken and shown his work widely in Europe and America including
most recently at Harvard University, Columbia College and Bard

Saturday, 22 August 2009

4th Annual African Diaspora Summer Film Series

DATE: Friday, August 21 to Sunday, August 23, 2009 and Friday, August 28 to Sunday, August 30, 2009 .

The Riverside Theatre, of the Riverside Church. 91 Claremont Ave. (120th), NYC
Tel: (212) 8... www.theriversidtheatre.org

Nearest subway: #1 train to 116th Street. Bus # M104, M4 or M60.

The 4th Annual African Diaspora Film Series presented in collaboration with the Riverside Theater of Riverside Church opens a cycle of thought provoking films curated by the African Diaspora Film Festival team.

In preparations for the 17th Annual African Diaspora Film Festival-Nov.27 to Dec.15- ADFF will showcase a total of 13 titles in different Manhattan venues. All screenings on the weekend of August 21 will be held at the Riverside Theatre of the Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Ave. at 120th St.

"Gospel Hill," directed by Giancarlo Esposito, is a metaphor of America today as "greed and idealism collide" in a social environment where human tensions are high and people's humanity is strongly marked by a turbulent past. (In English.) Opening Night Friday, August 21. Reception at 6:30pm; film at 7:30pm. Q&A with Giancarlo Esposito after the screening.

"Migration of Beauty" by Chris Flaherty is an informative film that provides a strong social commentary regarding the relationship between the United States and Ethiopia and the presence of Ethiopians in the US. The film shows how sustaining a democracy is an ongoing process with multiple voices and participants. (In English.) Saturday, August 22 @ 4p.m. Q&A with Chris Flaherty after the screening.

The backdrop of "Silent Shame" is a traditional Latino family in which rules and norms dictate everybody's life. Men marry women; women have children, and so on and so forth. Nevertheless, "Silent Shame" evolves in a way in which issues presented in the film are central and relevant to American society today: sexual orientation, racism, AIDS and the Health Care system are issues that make the film a very revealing piece of work. Directed by Tadeo Garcia. (In English.) Saturday August 22 @ 6:30pm. Q&A with one of the lead actors after the screening.

Poverty is rampant in the world. Whose fault is it? In the though provoking and informative documentary "The End of Poverty?," Philippe Diaz illustrates eloquently the origins of this poverty that affects many parts of the world. Through interviews with experts from all over the world, the film discusses how poverty is linked to colonialisms, neo-colonialism and globalization. (In English, and French /Spanish/Maa with English subtitles.) Screening on Sunday, August 23 at 2pm followed by a discussion.

Tickets for the African Diaspora Summer Film Series can be purchased online at www.theriversidtheatre.org or by calling 212-870-6784.

TICKET PRICES: $10 general admission.Senior/Student: $8.00. Opening Night 8/21 - Reception and "Gospel Hill" screening: $15. Wounded Knee and Zompantli Aztec/ Mayan dance $12 Seniors/Students $10

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Lagos Literary and Arts Journal Call for Submission

Lagos Literary and Arts Journal publishes all genres of creative writing – including but not limited to poetry, fiction, essay, memoir , drama; political essays, satire, profiles, book reviews, anything to stimulate public interest in reading and writing.

Online Journal
All work for publishing on the web site should be submitted online . Do also take the time to complete your online profile form so that readers can track your submissions and contact you if necessary. For image Submissions - all visual art and photographic please possible limit the size of each images to 200k

Print Journal
Submissions should be made to editor@lagosliteraryjournal.com with your name, email address and phone number so we can contact you if you're work is accepted, also include a brief bio for us to post alongside your submission. Send all manuscripts as attached PDF files or Word Documents labeled manuscript and the author’s name.

A Note About Submissions:
Because of our small size and general lack of funding we are unable to pay contributors at this time. However, if your work is chosen for our print journal, you will be entitled to two contributor copies of the issue you are in with the option to buy as many more as you'd like at cost. If you have any questions about submissions or payment contact

TC African Diaspora Cine-Club

TC African Diaspora Cine-Club
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 West 120th Street
Train 1 to 116th Street - Walk up four blocks or
Bus M4, M60 or M104 to 120th Street

Photo ID required to enter building

WHAT: FREE Friday screenings and discussions on films from Africa and the African Diaspora. Refreshments will be served.

Friday, July 31 @ 6:00 PM

US, 1969, 107min, drama in English, Gordon Parks, Dir.

Gordon Parks' adaptation of his autobiographical novel. The story centers on Newt, a sensitive and intelligent 15-year-old boy living in the South during the 1920s. An African-American with high aspirations in an age when segregation ruled, Newt's experiences with racism, sex, love, and loss help him develop into a mature individual. In contrast, Newt's friend Marcus is a sullen youth who seems to think only with his fists, and whose life is headed nowhere. But Newt's morality is severely tested when the wrong man is arrested for a murder that Newt witnessed. If Newt discloses the true killer's identity, it could affect both his and Marcus' lives forever. Friday, July 31 at 6 p.m. (FREE Screening).

Independent African-American
Film Series Program
Live-Forum w/Refreshments
Saturday, Aug. 1 @ 6 PM

Saturday, July 31- Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009
at Teachers College, Columbia University
525 West 120th Street

Screenings: $9 General Admission,
$7 students & seniors, $5 Live-Forum / $12 Forum and "Medicine for Melancholy" film screening

The African Diaspora Film Festival continues to spotlight the black experience with its Spring/Summer Thematic Film Series program. This month's installmetn focuses on Independent African-American Cinema.

The African Diaspora Film Festival, The Office of the President, Diversity and Community Affairs and the Center for African Education at Teachers College, Columbia University invite you to ADFFs Independent African-American Film Series program that will feature films directed by African-Americans. Too many films by African-Americans do not make it to mainstream theaters- some go straight to DVD sans fanfare, but each filmmaker/film has a story to tell that deserves exposure and the ADFF is the vessel that will give these much-deserving films/filmmakers an opportunity to tell their story.

In addition the film screenings, ADFF is also excited to present the Live-Forum: Independent African-American Cinema: A Conversation with African-American Filmmakers. Panelist consist of film industry tastemakers that will discuss whether Will Smith and Tyler Perry have changed the name of the game for Black storytelling? Is there today less resistance than 20 years ago towards meaningful Black theme films or are we still limited to making violent films and lame comedies?

Panelist include: filmmakers: Joe Brewster (The Keeper), Bridgett M. Davis (Naked Acts), Windell Williams (Murder Magic), and Darien Sills-Evans (X-Patriots); ADFF Director: Diarah N'Daw Spech; film distributor: Reinaldo Barroso-Spech; filmmaker and blogger Tambey Obenson

Monday, 20 July 2009


30th, 31st July & 1st* August, 7.30pm
* signed performance

Director: Amani Naphtali, Designer: Rajha Shakiry, Lighting designer: Ian Saunders, Soundtrack: DJ Matman, Film-maker: Collin Hills, Movement: Kymberlee Jay

Take the raw skills of 12 young performers. Mix with multi award-winning turntablist DJ Matman, digital artist Collin Hills and Krump Junkies’ Kymberlee Jay. Put in a bare studio for 4 weeks under the watchful eye of forward-thinking director, Amani Naphtali and the result? KRUNCH.

Watch the temperature rise as voices find expression, energy collides, boundaries are pushed and new styles are formed.

This is the changing face of London. Go with the flow!

"This is our London, our voices, our stage."
TYPT: 09 performer

Box Office: 0208 365 5450 www.berniegrantcentre.co.uk
Tickets: £6/£4 concessions (students, senior citizens, jobseekers, people with disabilities, U16s, groups of 10 or more)

Town Hall Approach Road, London N15 4RX
Nearest tube: Seven Sisters (Victoria Line)


The 419Positive Project

The many negative experiences of Nigerians at home and abroad have resulted in a detachment, mentally and emotionally from their homeland..

The 419Positive Project is an umbrella for a series of ‘Celebrating Nigeria’ projects strategically designed in response to the negative perceptions of Nigerians & Nigeria, internally and externally..

Our mission is to unearth and spotlight verifiable positive or unique attributes of Nigerians & Nigeria in an attempt to explore what it means ‘to be Nigerian’ and to reorient Nigerians’ mindsets on issues relating to self image, national loyalty and civic pride..

In July 2009, The 419Positive Project will unveil the first phase of her flagship project; a search for positive and unique attributes of Nigerians & Nigeria.. And we’re inviting all Nigerians and all friends of Nigeria to say something positive about Nigerians or Nigeria at http://www.419positive.org

All the attributes you submit will be entered in a vote for the nation’s favourites.. This will serve as a road map for the film team as they travel across Nigeria and Nigerian communities in the Diaspora.. And the best part is this; you may be selected to appear in the documentary with the opportunity to personally introduce your favourite attribute..

We'll be announcing lots of little surprises along the way..

Say Something Positive...

Re-imagine America

Newark Museum Unveils Installation by Yinka Shonibare MBE

The Newark Museum, located in Newark, New Jersey, has commissioned a major site-specific installation by the internationally acclaimed artist Yinka Shonibare MBE to commemorate the Museum's Centennial. One of Shonibare's most ambitious works to date, Party Time: Re-imagine America is set in the mahogany-paneled dining room of the Ballantine House, the 1885 mansion and National Historic Landmark that is part of the Newark Museum campus, where it will be on view through January 3, 2010.

The Newark Museum's Christa Clarke, Curator of the Arts of Africa and Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas, and Ulysses Grant Dietz, Senior Curator and Curator of the Decorative Arts are the co-curators of Party Time: Re-imagine America.

Shonibare's longtime exploration of Victorian-era culture finds full expression in this theatrical sculptural tableau, which imagines the scene of a late 19th century dinner party midway through a multi-course feast. Eight headless figures, dressed in period costume made from the artist's signature "Dutch wax" fabric, are seated around an elaborately set table as a servant appears bearing the main course, a large peacock with gilded beak served on a silver platter. The animated body language of the guests suggests a moment in which proper Victorian etiquette has begun to disintegrate, as an indulgent celebration of prosperity tips towards misbehavior and even debauchery. The scene references the rise of wealth and quest for refinement that accompanied industrialization in the United States, where the elaborate dinner party replaced the bare-minimum meal, becoming a celebratory "eating fest" for the social and economic ruling class.

Born in London, England, and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Yinka Shonibare MBE considers himself to be a "postcolonial hybrid," a product of Britain's colonial relationship with Africa. Shonibare's work is informed by his dual roots in Europe and Africa, and he has explored their intertwined histories through a range of media, including sculpture, painting, photography and film. He is best known for his use of vibrantly patterned "Dutch wax" textiles which have been produced in European factories for West African markets for over a century. Shonibare incorporates the colorful, richly patterned cloth – which looks "African" but has more complicated origins – as a visual symbol in his work, in part to subvert assumptions about cultural identity and authenticity.

"What I find so magical about Yinka's work and this piece in particular is its synchronicity," says Newark Museum director Mary Sue Sweeney Price. "It resonates with the Newark Museum collection on two levels – the Ballantine House offers the ideal setting given Yinka's interest in Victorian themes, and his use of Dutch Wax textile complements our African Art collection, because Newark had a ground-breaking role in collecting and exhibiting these fabrics."

Shonibare's site-specific installation is the second in a series of four artist commissions in honor of the Museum's Centennial presented in 2009 and 2010. The Centennial Commissions respond to the Museum's history and diverse collections, finding points of intersection and connection between seemingly divergent areas of study and display within the Newark Museum.

Concurrent to the Newark Museum commission, The Brooklyn Museum presents the first major survey of the work of Yinka Shonibare MBE on view through September 20, 2009

Watch the podcast for Party Time: Re-imagine America on YouTube, iTunes
and on the Newark Museum Web site.

The Newark Centennial Celebration is made possible through the generous support of Prudential.

Contact Information:
Newark Museum
49 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102


Date: Saturday 25th July 2009, 2pm – 4pm

The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos has initiated a dynamic platform for visual art and culture since opening its doors in December 2007 engaging with artists, critics, writers, curators and art mangers. CCA,Lagos continues with its aims to build a strong discursive platform by actively encouraging debate and critical discourse that highlights topical issues that affect our society and the world in general. We achieve this by inviting local, African and international guest speakers to talk on a wide range of themes and issues concerning contemporary art and culture. In July 2009 CCA, Lagos continues its public programme with a talk by South African artist and curator Gabi Ngcobo originally schedule for the Like A Virgin... programme.

Transition has its own constraints, life forms, threatening dynamics and consequences. During transition, the questions “who are we?” alongside “which options among the available ones are the right ones?” tend to figure a lot. In this talk Gabi Ngcobo will underline such questions by focusing on the work of a younger generation of South African artists whose work addresses the shortcomings of sexual identities more especially black South African masculinities. The aim of the talk is to create a dialogue about history (or its absence) that is often troubled, to differing degrees, by the search to find the holy grail of African masculinity.

Gabi Ngcobo is an independent curator, writer and artist from Durban, South Africa. She has worked as Assistant Curator at the South African Gallery and curated Cape Africa Platform’s CAPE 07 bi-annual exhibition where she also worked as Head of Research and was instrumental in initiating Cape’s Young Curator’s Programme. Other exhibitions include Olvida quen soy/ Erase me from who I am co-curated with Elvira Dyangani Ose for CAAM, Canary Islands, Las Palmas 2006, Titled/Untitled, a curatorial collaboration with Cape Town collective Gugulective. She is the co-founder of collaborative platform manje-manje projects (m-mp) whose first project, a group exhibition titled Scratching the Surface Vol.1 took place in Cape Town in 2008. Her writings have been featured in various publications and catalogues including Art South Africa, Art Throb and n.paradoxa.

Ngcobo is the recipient of the Ampersand Foundation (New York) 2007 and Kingston University Curatorial Fellowship (London) 2008. She is a Ford Foundation Fellow at the Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York.

This talk is funded by the Commonwealth Foundation.


Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos
9 McEwen Street, Off Queen Street, Sabo,
Opp Methodist Church, Herbert Macaulay St, Lagos.

Telephone 0702 8367106

Saturday, 11 July 2009

What exactly is an "Afropolitan"?

by Taiye Tuakli-Wosornu

culled from http://afropolitans.typepad.com/

It’s moments to midnight on Thursday night at Medicine Bar in London. Zak,
boy-genius DJ, is spinning a Fela Kuti remix. The little downstairs
dancefloor swells with smiling, sweating men and women fusing hip-hop
dance moves with a funky sort of djembe. The women show off enormous
afros, tiny t-shirts, gaps in teeth; the men those incredible torsos
unique to and common on African coastlines. The whole scene speaks of
the Cultural Hybrid: kente cloth worn over low-waisted jeans; ‘African
Lady’ over Ludacris bass lines; London meets Lagos meets Durban meets
Dakar. Even the DJ is an ethnic fusion: Nigerian and Romanian; fair,
fearless leader; bobbing his head as the crowd reacts to a sample of
‘Sweet Mother’.

Were you to ask any of these beautiful, brown-skinned people that
basic question – ‘where are you from?’ – you’d get no single answer
from a single smiling dancer. This one lives in London but was raised
in Toronto and born in Accra; that one works in Lagos but grew up in
Houston, Texas. ‘Home’ for this lot is many things: where their parents
are from; where they go for vacation; where they went to school; where
they see old friends; where they live (or live this year). Like so many
African young people working and living in cities around the globe,
they belong to no single geography, but feel at home in many.

They (read: we) are Afropolitans – the newest generation of African
emigrants, coming soon or collected already at a law firm/chem lab/jazz
lounge near you. You’ll know us by our funny blend of London fashion,
New York jargon, African ethics, and academic successes. Some of us are
ethnic mixes, e.g. Ghanaian and Canadian, Nigerian and Swiss; others
merely cultural mutts: American accent, European affect, African ethos.
Most of us are multilingual: in addition to English and a Romantic or
two, we understand some indigenous tongue and speak a few urban
vernaculars. There is at least one place on The African Continent to
which we tie our sense of self: be it a nation-state (Ethiopia), a city
(Ibadan), or an auntie’s kitchen. Then there’s the G8 city or two (or
three) that we know like the backs of our hands, and the various
institutions that know us for our famed focus. We are Afropolitans: not
citizens, but Africans of the world.

It isn’t hard to trace our genealogy. Starting in the 60’s, the
young, gifted and broke left Africa in pursuit of higher education and
happiness abroad. A study conducted in 1999 estimated that between 1960
and 1975 around 27,000 highly skilled Africans left the Continent for
the West. Between 1975 and 1984, the number shot to 40,000 and then
doubled again by 1987, representing about 30% of Africa’s highly
skilled manpower. Unsurprisingly, the most popular destinations for
these emigrants included Canada, Britain, and the United States; but
Cold War politics produced unlikely scholarship opportunities in
Eastern Bloc countries like Poland, as well.

Some three decades later this scattered tribe of pharmacists,
physicists, physicians (and the odd polygamist) has set up camp around
the globe. The caricatures are familiar. The Nigerian physics professor
with faux-Coogi sweater; the Kenyan marathonist with long legs and
rolled r’s; the heavyset Gambian braiding hair in a house that smells
of burnt Kanekalon. Even those unacquainted with synthetic extensions
can conjure an image of the African immigrant with only the slightest
of pop culture promptings: Eddie Murphy’s ‘Hello, Barbar.’ But
somewhere between the 1988 release of Coming to America and the 2001
crowning of a Nigerian Miss World, the general image of young Africans
in the West transmorphed from goofy to gorgeous. Leaving off the
painful question of cultural condescenscion in that beloved film, one
wonders what happened in the years between Prince Akeem and Queen

One answer is: adolescence. The Africans that left Africa between
1960 and 1975 had children, and most overseas. Some of us were bred on
African shores then shipped to the West for higher education; others
born in much colder climates and sent home for cultural
re-indoctrination. Either way, we spent the 80’s chasing after
accolades, eating fufu at family parties, and listening to adults argue
politics. By the turn of the century (the recent one), we were matching
our parents in number of degrees, and/or achieving things our ‘people’
in the grand sense only dreamed of. This new demographic – dispersed
across Brixton, Bethesda, Boston, Berlin – has come of age in the 21st
century, redefining what it means to be African. Where our parents
sought safety in traditional professions like doctoring, lawyering,
banking, engineering, we are branching into fields like media,
politics, music, venture capital, design. Nor are we shy about
expressing our African influences (such as they are) in our work.
Artists such as Keziah Jones, Trace founder and editor Claude
Gruzintsky, architect David Adjaye, novelist Chimamanda Achidie – all
exemplify what Gruzintsky calls the ‘21st century African.’

What distinguishes this lot and its like (in the West and at home) is a
willingness to complicate Africa – namely, to engage with, critique,
and celebrate the parts of Africa that mean most to them. Perhaps what
most typifies the Afropolitan consciousness is the refusal to
oversimplify; the effort to understand what is ailing in Africa
alongside the desire to honor what is wonderful, unique. Rather than
essentialising the geographical entity, we seek to comprehend the
cultural complexity; to honor the intellectual and spiritual legacy;
and to sustain our parents’ cultures.

For us, being African must mean something. The media’s portrayals
(war, hunger) won’t do. Neither will the New World trope of bumbling,
blue-black doctor. Most of us grew up aware of ‘being from’ a blighted
place, of having last names from to countries which are linked to lack,
corruption. Few of us escaped those nasty ‘booty-scratcher’ epithets,
and fewer still that sense of shame when visting paternal villages.
Whether we were ashamed of ourselves for not knowing more about our
parents’ culture, or ashamed of that culture for not being more
‘advanced’ can be unclear. What is manifest is the extent to which the
modern adolescent African is tasked to forge a sense of self from
wildly disparate sources. You’d never know it looking at those dapper
lawyers in global firms, but most were once supremely self-conscious of
being so ‘in between’. Brown-skinned without a bedrock sense of
‘blackness,’ on the one hand; and often teased by African family
members for ‘acting white’ on the other – the baby-Afropolitan can get
what I call ‘lost in transnation’.

Ultimately, the Afropolitan must form an identity along at least
three dimensions: national, racial, cultural – with subtle tensions in
between. While our parents can claim one country as home, we must
define our relationship to the places we live; how British or American
we are (or act) is in part a matter of affect. Often unconsciously, and
over time, we choose which bits of a national identity (from passport
to pronunciation) we internalize as central to our personalities. So,
too, the way we see our race – whether black or biracial or none of the
above – is a question of politics, rather than pigment; not all of us
claim to be black. Often this relates to the way we were raised,
whether proximate to other brown people (e.g. black Americans) or
removed. Finally, how we conceive of race will accord with where we
locate ourselves in the history that produced ‘blackness’ and the
political processes that continue to shape it.

Then there is that deep abyss of Culture, ill-defined at best. One
must decide what comprises ‘African culture’ beyond pepper soup and
filial piety. The project can be utterly baffling – whether one lives
in an African country or not. But the process is enriching, in that it
expands one’s basic perspective on nation and selfhood. If nothing
else, the Afropolitan knows that nothing is neatly black or white; that
to ‘be’ anything is a matter of being sure of who you are uniquely. To
‘be’ Nigerian is to belong to a passionate nation; to be Yoruba, to be
heir to a spiritual depth; to be American, to ascribe to a cultural
breadth; to be British, to pass customs quickly. That is, this is what
it means for me – and that is the Afropolitan privilege. The acceptance
of complexity common to most African cultures is not lost on her
prodigals. Without that intrinsically multi-dimensional thinking, we
could not make sense of ourselves.

And if it all sounds a little self-congratulatory, a little
‘aren’t-we-the-coolest-damn-people-on-earth?’ – I say: yes it is,
necessarily. It is high time the African stood up. There is nothing
perfect in this formulation; for all our Adjayes and Achidies, there is
a brain drain back home. Most Afropolitans could serve Africa better in
Africa than at Medicine Bar on Thursdays. To be fair, a fair number of
African professionals are returning; and there is consciousness among
the ones who remain, an acute awareness among this brood of
too-cool-for-schools that there’s work to be done. There are those
among us who wonder to the point of weeping: where next, Africa? When
will the scattered tribes return? When will the talent repatriate? What
lifestyles await young professionals at home? How to invest in Africa’s
future? The prospects can seem grim at times. The answers aren’t
forthcoming. But if there was ever a group who could figure it out, it
is this one, unafraid of the questions.

Friday, 10 July 2009


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will be in Nigeria in July to promote her new book,The Thing Around Your Neck. Published locally by Farafina Books, The Thing Around Your Neck is a collection of short stories exploring the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States. Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie’s signature wisdom, the collision of cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them.Award-winning author ofPurple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been described as “the 21st century daughter of Chinua Achebe.” Her much-anticipated public presentation ofThe Thing Around Your Neck will hold on


I have to confess I havent read for pleasure in a while, I will however be investing in this, Chimamanda is fantastic author!

More on the author:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie burst onto the literary scene with her remarkable debut novel,Purple Hibiscus, which critics hailed as “one of the best novels to come out of Africa in years” (BaltimoreSun), with “prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes” (The Boston Globe);The Washington Post called her “the twenty-first-century daughter of Chinua Achebe.” Her award-winningHalf of a Yellow Sun became an instant classic upon its publication three years later, once again putting her tremendous gifts—graceful storytelling, knowing compassion, and fierce insight into her characters’ hearts—on display. Now, in her most intimate and seamlessly crafted work to date, Adichie turns her penetrating eye on not only Nigeria but America, in twelve dazzling stories that explore the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States.In “A Private Experience,” a medical student hides from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman whose dignity and faith force her to confront the realities and fears she’s been pushing away. In “Tomorrow is Too Far,” a woman unlocks the devastating secret that surrounds her brother’s death. The young mother at the center of “Imitation” finds her comfortable life in Philadelphia threatened when she learns that her husband has moved his mistress into their Lagos home. And the title story depicts the choking loneliness of a Nigerian girl who moves to an America that turns out to be nothing like the country she expected; though falling in love brings her desires nearly within reach, a death in her homeland forces her to reexamine them.Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie’s signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them.The Thing Around Your Neck is a resounding confirmation of the prodigious literary powers of one of our most essential writers.

When You’re a Boy: Men’s Fashion Styled by Simon Foxton

Hey There Fancy Pants, photographed by Jason Evans, styled by Simon Foxton

Following on from last year’s successful Fashion in the Mirror exhibition, The Photographer’s Gallery next week continues it’s annual exploration of fashion photography with an exhibition of shoots created by celebrated British menswear stylist, Simon Foxton. Following a career that spans the last three decades, When You’re a Boy is a presentation of some of Foxton’s greatest work photographed by the likes of Nick Knight, Jason Evans and Alasdair McLellan displaying some of his most fascinating displays of masculine fashion.

When You’re a Boy: Men’s Fashion Styled by Simon Foxton
July 17 – 4 October
The Photographer’s Gallery
16 – 18 Ramillies St

Friday, 3 July 2009

Urban Dynamik

Want to know how to make you own videos and use them on your
YouTube or Facebook? Got a story to tell? Need to film your next
music video? Urban Dynamik can help!

FREE - Only 10 places on each day- book fast. Free lunch.

Friday 17th July 2009
Friday 31st July 2009

TV and Mobile Media Taster days
To book a place contact programme producer Jim on:
jim@spacestudios.org.uk or 020 8525 4339

Taster days show how to use your mobile technologies and make
and share great videos. Taster days can move you onto further media
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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

'Identity: An Imagined State' Call for participation

I have been slow to upload resently andl here is why. I have aong with 2 co-curators been working towards a video art exhibition, which is to take place between October and November this year (2009). Please feel free to disseminate the info to relevant artists, critics or curators.



Identity: An Imagined State (Draft title)
Video Art Exhibition

Call for participation

Following the implementation of two successful video art workshops, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos will be hosting the first video art exhibition in Lagos, taking the form of a three part project to be held in October/November 2009. The exhibition Identity: An Imagined State will cover themes that each takes a different perspective on notions of identity exploring issues of race, citizenship and migration. The exhibition aims to provide a platform in Lagos for emerging and established video artists.

The exhibition, split into sections listed below will form the curatorial framework for the submission of works.

The first section of the exhibition aims to explore issues relating to race or skin tone and the impact it has made on identity amongst African people (living on the continent). Particular areas of interest relate to those whose racial identity is made up of multi-ethnic backgrounds, the problematic of skin toning (skin lightening) and non-Black Africans. By asking questions such as; can we always tell what race is when we see it? What role does race place in society? How do we negotiate between skin tone and identity?

The second section explores the challenges of political, economic and social predicaments, which have engendered voluntary or forced migratory movements into and out of Africa. The impacts of these actions have resulted in changes such as displacement, deprivation, enhanced economic benefits and psychological transformations.

This project will present a body of work by artists that engage with migration and trans-national pattern of movement in our continuously globalizing world. It will explore the effects and impacts of migration within and out of the continent, highlight issues on memory, identity, displacement, alienation as well as the challenges that arise from cultural and physical separation.

Video artists of African descent or artists of any nationality exploring these themes in relation to Africa are invited to make a submission for either one or both areas of interest. We ask for all videos to be sent in either English or with English subtitles.

Submissions should be made in the following manner:

DVD containing maximum 3 works
A Full CV
An Artist Statement
2x still images from the video (minimum 75 dpi)
Completed application form below

Deadline Friday 20th July 2009

Please note that submitted work cannot be returned and unless indicated otherwise. Work will form part of CCA,Lagos’ visual art library collection used for research and learning purposes only.


Send to: Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos
No. 9 McEwen Street, Sabo Yaba
Lagos, Nigeria

For further details including application forms call: 234 7028367106, 234 705 568 0104, 234 803 439 2413 and ask for Oyinda Fakeye or Jude Anogwih or email: oyinda@ccalagos.org jude@ccalagos.org

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

If You havent already been......

“She’s a phoney, but she’s a real phoney… Because she honestly believes all the phoney junk that she believes in...” (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)

Real Phoney explores the delight in artifice and the surface image, the porous boundary between pictorial and physical spaces, and ideas of spectacle, submergence and superabundance. The show represents several departures for the artist, primarily her move away from representational signs and signifiers to an emphasis on pattern and layering. Tantra’s palette of ready-made industrial paints and plastics are also updated, with a variety of metallic, reflective and transparent materials included that enable the artist to investigate depth in new ways.

Real Phoney 8 May - 21 June 2009
Gallery open late for first Thursdays - Thursday 7 May | with music and cocktails

Gallery hours: Thursday-Saturday 1-6/Sunday 2-5 or by appointment
First Thursday of the month - gallery open until 9pm
Closed Bank Holiday Sundays except by appointment

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Film Buffs

KINEMATHEQUE - a new bi-monthly strand between Curzon Cinemas and Second Run DVD to present specially selected world cinema screenings and events - presents two films by Marc Isaacs:


+ Director Q&A

Curzon Soho, Sunday 14th June, 12 noon

Kinematheque are delighted to present a special screening event to launch Second Run DVD’s release of the films of Marc Isaacs.

From his debut LIFT onwards, Isaacs reveals a great capacity to empathise with the protagonists of his films. Never judging by appearances, Isaacs’ skill at getting to know the characters becomes part of the narrative of the film, and their (and our) prejudices and preconceptions are challenged by the reality he finds.

Strong human characters are at the heart of all of Isaacs’ films and he has quietly built a body of work that puts him amongst most empathetic documentary observers we have of lives often overlooked. He creates a succession of deeply moving portraits, piecing together a unique vision of modern Britain.


UK | 2001 | 25 mins

Isaacs sits with his camera for days inside the lift of a high-rise Council block in London. The result is a gripping, humourous and moving portrait of a ‘vertical’ multicultural community.


UK | 2003 | 58 mins

This French port has become a new border in ways previously unimagined. Isaacs weaves portraits of various individuals into a moving and melancholy view of a place defined, more than ever, by the island it gazes at across the Channel.

Early booking is recommended and tickets can be booked at www.curzoncinemas.com or by calling 0871 703 3991


Lift/Travellers/Calais: The Last Border will be released by Second Run DVD on 29th June 2009.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009



INFECTING THE CITY (the Spier Performing Arts Festival) is a theme-orientated festival that presents free site-specific and public performance works in inner city Cape Town, South Africa.

Entering its 3rd year in this form, the dates for ITC 2010 are Saturday 13 Feb to Saturday 20 Feb.

In 2009 ITC carried the theme ‘Home Affairs’ in response to the xenophobia that grips South Africa. For more information on the 2009 festival see our website: www.infectingthecity.com.

The theme for Infecting the City 2010 is “HUMAN RITES”
Here in South Africa – and in many countries in the region – we straddle an angry moment characterized by festering feelings and inflamed issues: betrayal, violence, hatred, powerlessness, inequality, greed, corruption, poverty, intolerance and desperation. Many African countries are grappling with the issue of social healing.

In all its various forms, ritual has been used for millennia, across the world, to restore social rupture. Some schools of thought have it that the roots of theatre lie in ritual. Is there a place for ritual in our society? How can the arts today make use of ritual to effect social transformation? What are the wounds that need attention in our society? Can we make performance art works that are themselves rituals for the healing of these wounds? What shape can rituals take in the communal spaces of the 21st Century Global Village?
With the theme ‘HUMAN RITES, ITC will address these questions in 2010.

ITC is now calling for submissions for the following components:

1.New Collaborative Works

2.Commissioned Works

This project brings artists together in Cape Town from different parts of the world and from a wide range of disciplines. I am looking for artists who are established, outstanding, cutting-edge performance makers/conceptual artists/designers/ritual practitioners with strong interests in both collaboration and in outdoor site-specific work. I am particularly, though not exclusively, interested in artists with a ‘non-western’ orientation, and those from African countries. Artists need to be fluent in English.

This challenging and rewarding residency project is divided into two phases:

1.During November 2009 nine selected artists will attend an intensive two week course relating to and unpacking the ITC theme. The course will be delivered and facilitated by local and international academics, practitioners and thinkers related to the ‘Human Rites’ theme. At the beginning of week 3 the artists will be divided into teams of three collaborators each: one from South Africa, one from another African state, and one from overseas. They will be allocated a budget, a title for their site-specific work and a production manager, and then have a week in which to plan, strategize and audition performers and other artists. Thereafter they will go their separate ways, maintaining dialogue with one another, with the course-coordinator and with the dramaturge via e-mail.

2.For 5 weeks from mid-January the three teams will resume their residency in Cape Town where each team will be allocated a studio. The teams have 4 weeks to produce and rehearse their works before ITC 2010 opens on 13 February. Productions will be performed daily until 20 February.

In 2009 ITC hosted 12 artists from South Africa, Africa and Europe. Have a look at the video of their experience on the ITC website (top right hand corner on the homepage).

If this project appeals to you please email info@finfectingthecity.com with a motivation for your participation, a comprehensive C.V., and a clear photograph of yourself by the end of June.

We are also calling for proposals for new performance works relating to the ‘Human Rites’ theme. These works will be performed in public spaces, free to the public. We are not looking for ‘plays’. Performance art pieces, performance installations etc. made by interesting collaborative teams will attract our interest.

If this project appeals to you please email info@finfectingthecity.com a detailed proposal outlining the form and the content of the piece, the creative team, the type of venue and probable performers. C.V.s and clear photographs of the creative team should be included. Submissions should reach us by the end of June.

Transient Spaces - The Tourist Syndrome

Schwedenstrasse 16
13357 Berlin
Phone: 0049 30 46069107


Application deadline: 30 June 2009

Open Call for Applications (Deadline: 30 June 2009)

Transient Spaces – The Tourist Syndrome is an interdisciplinary project on the symmetries and asymmetries between contemporary tourism and migration, encompassing research, theory, practice, workshops, seminars, conferences and art exhibitions in Italy, Lithuania, Romania and Germany in 2009 and 2010.

The Tourist Syndrome Summer Camp, 3 - 11 September 2009

An integral part of the two-year project Transient Spaces – The Tourist Syndrome is the upcoming Tourist Syndrome Summer Camp held in Palanga (Lithuania), a renowned seaside resort on the Baltic Sea coast, from 3 to 11 September 2009.
The Tourist Syndrome Summer Camp invites artists, architects, cultural producers, theorists, and academics to an interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange on new forms of mobility today, with a special focus on the relationship between tourism and migration. The eight-day summer camp will offer a diverse programme of workshops, lectures and presentations, and will be open to a maximum of fifty participants to be selected through this Open Call.

The summer camp programme includes three main workshops held by international artists, practitioners and academics Cesare Pietroiusti (Rome/Venice), Krystian Woznicki (Berlin) and Michael Zinganel (Vienna/Graz), and an intense program of presentations, screenings and events by artists already involved in the project, and by the artistic directors and curators of Transient Spaces – The Tourist Syndrome. The workshops will highlight the many aspects of the tourism-migration relationship that exist in different European and non-European contexts and offer the opportunity to explore individual and subjective, as well as socio-political themes, with the goal of developing works of art and projects to be presented at the conclusion of the summer camp in Palanga and at the final, comprehensive exhibition in Berlin in 2010.
Structured as a collective brain storming session on the topics of tourism and migration, the Tourist Syndrome Summer Camp will also offer convivial and informal moments, drawing from the tradition of Socialist plein air symposia, combining work (artistic and intellectual production) and leisure. The summer camp is organized in cooperation with Lithuanian art organization Meno Parkas (Kaunas).

Participation in summer camp activities is free of charge.
The selected participants will be responsible for their individual journeys to the workshop location of Palanga. Basic accommodation (double or triple room) is provided to the summer camp participants by the organization.
Once selected, participants will need to transfer a registration fee of 50 Euro to the organization by 30 July (bank details will be provided).
The summer camp group will be limited to a maximum of fifty participants. The course language is English.

Free-form applications (in English) should include:
- statement / motivation letter (max 300 words)
- curriculum vitae

Supporting material, such as a portfolio, articles, publications, etc. can be included with the applications. The materials will not be sent back to applicants. Online applications are welcome.

Please specify in the application how you found out about this open call.

Applications for The Tourist Syndrome Summer Camp can be sent electronically or via post to uqbar by the deadline of 30 June 2009 (postmark) to the address:

uqbar e.V.
Transient Spaces – The Tourist Syndrome
Schwedenstr. 16
D – 13357 Berlin, Germany

Email: transientspaces@uqbar-ev.de

Transient Spaces – The Tourist Syndrome is a project by uqbar, Berlin, initiated by Marina Sorbello and Antje Weitzel, in cooperation with Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin; E-M Arts, Naples; ICCA/CIAC, Bucharest; Meno Parkas, Kaunas; funded with support from the European Commission and Foundation of German Lottery Berlin.

Detailed information on application procedures and the project Transient Spaces – The Tourist Syndrome are available online at the address:


Join uqbar on Facebook:

Join the uqbar mailing list by sending an email to:

2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art

More than 150 artists from all over the world have been invited to participate in the core of the main and parallel programme of the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art. Amongst them are African artists such as Emeka Okereke (Nigeria), Mauro Pinto (Mozambique), Jodi Bieber (South Africa), Bright Eke (Nigeria), Samba Fall (Senegal), Guy Woueté Louchuang (Cameroon), etc.

This year theme is "PRAXIS : Art in Times of Uncertainty". An excerpt from the main concept note reads as follows :

In his seminal novel A Tale of Two Cities (1859) about life in Paris and London, the English novelist Charles Dickens wrote ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.’ aptly capturing the mood of the time. Almost a hundred and fifty years later the feeling of disillusionment, the failure of politics to handle the ‘big’ problems, the recent financial collapse, the assault on the environment and a general sense of individual and collective alienation which a global society has not been able to rectify all seem palpable. Might we be the observers of a universal depreciation of the system of thought, of an irreversible collapse of ideologies?...

The biennale is curated by Gabriela Salgado, Bisi Silva, and Syrago Tsiara.

The event opens officially on the 24th of may and runs until the 27th of September 2009.

For more information on the biennale and participating artists visit : http://www.thessalonikibiennale.gr

Emeka Okereke

(please note the hyphen between emeka and okereke in website address)

Adisa - 1968: The year that never ended

Arts Depot, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, London
Thursday 18th June 2009 8.00PM
Tickets £9 [£7 conc]
020 8369 5454

A poetry and music one-person show written by and starring Adisa with a guest appearance by Randolph Matthews and produced by Melanie Abrahams, it explores one of the most profound years of the 20th century. With a theme of Revolution, it explores the voices and movements of 68, drawing inspiration from the folk, reggae, soul, afrobeat and pop music of the time. It exposes the power of the collective voice and its effect on politics, religion, culture and artistic expression.

Performance poet Adisa is a favourite on the UK scene. He's been a New Performance Poet of the Year and a Hackney Poet Laureate and has been published in anthologies including Poems Out Loud and Velocity.

"Adisa is the future. It's so good to have something to look forward to." Benjamin Zephaniah

more info: http://www.artsdepot.co.uk

Artsadmin Summer School - call out

The Artsadmin Summer School is now in it’s third successful year and offers a chance for emerging artists and people new to performance to work with established artist Mem Morrison for FREE, for 4 weeks to create and perform an original piece of work that will be showcased at Toynbee Studios.

The Summer School runs from 20 July to 14 August and open to anyone aged 18-25, from all disciplines and backgrounds (with or without performance experience).

This year the Summer School takes place in the 1930s art deco theatre and auditorium of Toynbee Studios. Using ideas of identity, memory and personal history, participants will trace the histories and stories of the theatre, exploring what you might see or expect to see there, and looking for new and unexpected ways to use the space.

To apply, call Sam Trotman on 020 7247 5102
or email samtrotman@artsadmin.co.uk with your name, date of birth and why you'd like to be involved. A workshop will be held on 7 July. Deadline for applications Friday 3 July.

Mem Morrison is an artist and director whose work often draws upon personal history and environment to evoke the complexities of acknowledging and accepting cultural differences. His work is produced by Artsadmin.

Artsadmin produces and presents artists' projects from its home at Toynbee Studios, working with young people who want to engage with contemporary, radical and thought-provoking work.