Friday, 27 February 2009

6 Billion Ways:



Every day seems to bring a new crisis: financial markets in turmoil, energy price rises, food riots, violent conflicts and environmental disasters. And whatever the disaster, poor and marginalised people are always affected the most.

It doesn't have to be this way. Every person on the planet can make change happen.

6 Billion Ways is a day where the arts meet ideas, discussion and action to explore the causes and find solutions to these interlinked global crises.

Including discussions on: the financial crisis and economic alternatives, conflict and liberation in Palestine and Iraq, climate catastrophe and building a green new deal, the future of feminism, the impact of Obama on race politics, when resistance is successful and how to change consumer culture.

With international speakers, films, music, and a chance to learn and practise new skills, 6 Billion Ways is your chance to get inspired and join local and global networks building a better world.

Outline of the day
10am-6.45pm: Workshops and debates

Featuring all our main speakers and many more. Details of sessions below. FREE.
7pm-8.30pm: Final plenary

Rally to conclude the day, including video messages. FREE.
8.30pm-Midnight: Party

With DJs and other entertainment. £7/£5 concessions.

A full timetable of the sessions in the day is now available.
Organisers

6 Billion Ways is organised by City Circle, Friends of the Earth, Jubilee Debt Campaign, People and Planet, Rich Mix, War on Want and the World Development Movement.

MY PICK:
In Prison My Whole Life
(2007, USA, Dir: Marc Evans)
Sat 28 Feb 2009 (19:30 - 21:45)
The Rich Mix, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
£7
www.richmix.org.uk

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a former Black Panther and radical journalist who was arrested for the murder of a police officer. He has always claimed his innocence but he was sentenced to death and has been awaiting execution ever since. Over the years, he has received international support, from Amnesty and Nelson Mandela among others. In this documentary several commentators, including Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker and Mos Def, help provide a context for Mumia’s story.
Followed by a Q&A with filmmaker William Francome, Kim Manning-Cooper from Amnesty International UK, producers Colin Firth and Livia Giuggioli

Friday, 20 February 2009

UCSB Art Historian Publishes Monograph on African Artist Ben Enwonwu

Source: UCSB
Culled from: http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?nid=17632&linkSource=edhat.com

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) - During the period from 1950 to 1965, Ben Enwonwu was the most famous artist of African ancestry anywhere in the world. He produced a sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II, traveled to the United States as a guest of the Harmon Foundation and the State Department, and exhibited his work alongside those of Pablo Picasso and other prominent modernists. More than 45 years later, however, Enwonwu has fallen into relative obscurity.

Now, Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, an associate professor of art history at UC Santa Barbara, has written a monograph on the life and work of Enwonwu. Titled “Ben Enwonwu: The Making of an African Modernist” (The University of Rochester Press, 2008), it is the first significant biography published about this modern African artist.
“His pedigree justifies the need to produce a coherent narrative of his life and career,” said Ogbechie, who first began studying the artist 21 years ago and took advantage of historical data to document Enwonwu's life. “I have focused on evaluating the traces of Enwonwu in the primary records and using that to interpret his art. Let's look at what was said about him during his own lifetime and from that see what we can learn about his work.”

Born in Nigeria in 1917, Enwonwu studied fine arts at Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Fine Arts of the University of London. He was a premier African modernist and a pioneer whose career opened the way for the postcolonial proliferation and increased visibility of African art. A painter and sculptor, his work has been exhibited around the world, including such venues as London's Berkeley galleries, Howard University, the Goethe-Institut, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

In the decades between Enwonwu's birth and death, modernization produced new political structures and new forms of expression in African cultures, inspiring important developments in modern African art. Within this context, Obgechie evaluates important issues such as the role of Anglo-Nigerian colonial culture in the development of modern Nigerian art, and Enwonwu's involvement with international discourses of modernism in Europe, Africa, and the United States over a period of 50 years.

A specialist in classical, modern, and contemporary African and African Diaspora arts, Ogbechie received his master's degree from the University of Nigeria and his doctoratel degree from Northwestern University. His research evaluates alternative modernities, and the colonial and postcolonial conventions of representation in the arts and visual cultures of African and African Diaspora populations. His articles and reviews have appeared in African Arts, Arts Journal, Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art, Revue Noire, Ijele, Farafina, and several important art history anthologies.

A curator and consultant for many premier international exhibitions of modern and contemporary African art, Ogbechie has also published extensively on African art history, has lectured at major American and international venues, and has been cited by the Smithsonian Institution and the City of Philadelphia for his contributions to the 2004 Philadelphia Echoes of Africa cultural program.

Ogbechie is the founder and director of Aachron Knowledge Systems, which includes the publishing imprint Aachron Editions and Critical Interventions, a journal of African Art Theory and Criticism. He organized and coordinated the First International Nollywood Convention and Symposium in 2005, which evaluated new media in contemporary African visual culture from the perspective of the internationally acclaimed Nigerian Video Film Industry. He has also served as editor for Nka, African Arts, Critical Interventions, and Ijele, the principal journals of contemporary African arts and visual culture.

Telefilms: Telling Our Own Tales

By Mwalimu George Ngwane
Posted 17/02/09
culled from: http://cameroon.africancolours.net/content/18726



The rampant closure of cinemas in most cities in Africa today may be harmful to the growth of celluloid cinema and the future of the film festival (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso. On the other hand this may open a window of opportunity to the new wave of television films (telefilms) now becoming a permanent feature in our cultural landscape.

Africa Magic and Africa Magic Plus, the twin audio-visual channels hosted by M-Net in South Africa are fast becoming the artistic vista for African film producers interested in bringing screen art and culture to the privacy of our sitting rooms and bedrooms.

With the waning interest in a reading culture, telefilms are now bound to play the role “African Writers Series” played in the wake of Independence by showcasing the values and virtues, lores and mores as well as the aesthetic diversity of traditional Africa.

With our educational system alienated from the lessons of our own tangible and intangible cultural heritage, telefilms have a great challenge to correct more than five decades of ahistorical dialogue and pervaded ideological interpretations.

With most African Television channels borrowing and beaming more than 70% of cultural products from the West, the initiative from these twin M-net channels needs to serve as an inspiration for all National Televisions to drink deep from the wealth of telefilm professionalism that is gaining a new momentum in the continent.

Triggered by the mega success of the Nigerian telefilm industry (Nollywood) other African countries like Cameroon, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana are churning out telefilms that nonetheless need to be examined against the primordial rationale of the African cinema.

Cinema has a vital role in our development because it is a means of education, information and consciousness raising as well as a stimulus to creativity. But in the African context our cinema should be inspired by our own realities and our own needs. This is not to limit our creative development paradigm merely to some jingoistic parameters but to see culture as it is which is about identity, personality and ownership.

Telefilms are supposed to be the technological and artistic griot of the African who saddled with an overkill of Eurocentric discourse needs to find her own voice, vision and views of who we are as a people.

Telefilms may lose their bearing if their scripts are not seen through the African prism and if their subject matter and locations are not informed by local colour.

The rising popularity of telefilms risk becoming a mere bubble if the film directors and producers do not seek to break the monolithic universality of world view and export across our national and continental frontiers the uniqueness of the Afrocentric character.

So far, artificial jet set value trappings (posh cars, plush mansions and ostentatious settings) dominate the essence of didactic message and tropical content.

And the tropical content is legion; from governance, reproductive health issues, rituals, development agendas to advocacy. Our telefilms need to transcend the realm of ululation folklore to development interventions; they must become an edutainment weapon in which the viewer identifies with the script development and the holistic spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of the performers.

This was the forte of pioneer film makers in Africa like Sembene Ousmane, Daniel Kamwa, Djibril Diop Mambery, Soulymane Cisse, Benama Bakhti just to name a few and the famous Spike Lee of America..

It was the secret behind the success of films like “Lumumba” by Raoul Peck, “Yellow Card” by John Riber, “Fools” by Ramadan Suleima, “Rage” by Aduaka and “Pieces d’identité” by Mweza Ngagwa.

The enthusiasm and excitement to be part of the telefilm star train needs to be matched with a corresponding creativity that unearths our heritage how ever ugly.

The next challenge would be for the private and public media to recognize telefilms as a resource in generating income by paying for and respecting the local content rule which bounds them to project 90% of national cultural goods.

Telefilm professionals would have to network in order to protect their intellectual property rights, hone their skills and improve on their marketing strategies.

African governments need to fund the production of telefilms by organising telefilm festivals, providing seed support for production and direct grants to artists, opening their national borders for distribution, and establishing training grounds for amateurs interested in becoming telefilm professionals.

With this involvement of all stakeholders in cultural communication, our telefilms would not only be seen to be produced by the African people but would be recognized as cultural goods which are first and foremost at the service of the people in Africa.


*Mwalimu George Ngwane has produced three telefilms on gender-based violence, reproductive health, and history (www.Africaphonie.org)

Monday, 16 February 2009

Africa in Oslo

Maputo: A Tale of One City
Berry Bickle, Ângela Ferreira, Pompílio Hilário Gemuce, Rafael Mouzinho, Emeka Okereke, Lourenço Dinis Pinto, Mauro Pinto
Kuratorer: Bisi Silva, Daniella van Dijk-Wennberg og Marianne Hultman

Part 1 opens 6 p.m. Oslo Museum; International Cultural Centre and Museum, Tøyenbekken 5
The exhibition opens at 6 p.m. by Ambassador Pedro Comissário from the Embassy of The Republic of Mozambique in the Nordic countries and the Norwegian Ambassador in Maputo Tove Bruvik Westberg

Part 2 opens 7 p.m. Oslo Fine Art Society, Rådhusgaten 19

Hypocrisy: the site specificity of morality
Georges Adéagbo, Birgir Andrésson, Olaf Breuning, El Parche,
Marianne Heier, Gunilla Klingberg, Moshekwa Langa, Steve McQueen,
George Osodi, Wilfredo Prieto, Pascale Marthine Tayou
Curators: Stina Högkvist and Koyo Kouoh
Opens 6 p.m.
National Museum - Museum of Contemporary, Bankplassen 4

Beauty and Pleasure in South African Contemporary Ar
t
Dineo Bopape, Andries Botha, Frances Goodman, Kay Hassan, Nicholas Hlobo, Lawrence Lemaoana, Langa Magwa, Senzeni Marasela, Nandipha Mntambo, Ahti Patra Ruga, Berni Searle, Nontsikeleo Veleko
Curator: Selene Wendt
Opens 6 p.m.
Stenersenmuseet, Munkedamsveien 15

Looking Inside Out
Kader Attia, Dora Dhouib, Hala Elkoussy, Mounir Fatmi, Chourouk
Hriech, Bouchra Khalili, Nicène Kossentini, Driss Ouadahi, Younès
Rahmoun, Hans Hamid Rasmussen og Batoul Shimi
Curators: Maaretta Jaukkuri and Cristina Ricupero
Opens 6 p.m.
Kunstnernes Hus,Wergelandsveien 17

Trapped in Amber: Angst for a Reenacted Decade
Daniel Garcia Andujar, Hamdi Attia, Bodil Furu, Assefa Gebrekidan, Iman Issa, Mahmoud Khaled, Magnus Monfeldt, Harwood/Wright/Yokokoji
Curators: Bassam El Baroni and Helga-Marie Nordby
Performance by Magnus Monfeldt 8 p.m.
Artist talk 21/02 3 p.m.
Unge Kunstneres Samfund, Lakkegata 55d


Offshore: George Osodi
Public Art Norway (KORO)
6-16 February 5 p.m.-10 a.m. in Vaterlandsparken and in Bjørvika

Africa in Oslo is supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Fritt ord

Monday, 9 February 2009

naijablog: Nigerian Haute Couture

naijablog: Nigerian Haute Couture

Art Expo Nigeria

Art Galleries Association of Nigeria (AGAN) in conjunction with the The National Gallery of Art, (NGA) Abuja, will stage from May 2-10, 2009 Art Expo Nigeria, the second art fair of its kind in Nigeria. This fair will take place at the National Museum Onikan, Lagos.The fair is conceptualized to be an annual event for the Visual Arts sector, and a tool for promoting Nigerian visual art market to the international market.

This year's art fair shall feature art and will attract over 50 galleries across the country and have participation from several countries in the West African sub-region including Ghana and the Republic of Benin. It is also expected that over 100 artists cutting across several generations of artists will feature works of arts through the galleries.

The event will be opened formally at the National Museum Onikan, Lagos, Nigeria, on the 2nd of May, 2009 at 12.00 noon. According to the President of AGAN, Chief Frank Okonta who is also the proprietor of Nkem Gallery, there will be an opportunity for all those who love art to come and see the richness of Nigerian, and indeed West Africa's dynamic and robust visual arts market. The Nigerian Art fair proposes to be one of the most prestigious international contemporary art fairs in Africa, and will take place for a second year running in Lagos, Nigeria's visual art capital.

According to the organizers, over 1000 art works including paintings, sculpture, photography, prints and installations, will be on display through the galleries, and much like established Art fairs around the world, for instance the Art Expo New York and ARCO-Madrid, it is hoped that the Nigerian version will ultimately become one of the biggest art shows in Africa. The intention is to create an art marketplace that will offer the general public an opportunity to see great art presented in a professional manner and setting. Whether you're a seasoned collector, interested in adding to the allure of your home's interior design, or simply an art enthusiast interested in viewing the latest trends in the visual arts, This year's art fair in May 2009, will have something for everyone.
The art fair is a collaboration of Art Galleries Association of Nigeria (AGAN) and the National Gallery of art. AGAN is a new body that was set set up in 2008 to bring all galleries in the country together under one umbrella. It membership cuts across the country. Conservative estimates of contemporary African art market for the visual arts has been placed at between 25 and 50 million Euros internationally.

“From shack to chic”- Monna Mokoena @ CCA,Lagos

SATURDAY 14TH FEBRUARY 2009 3PM

Monna Mokoena (South Africa)

Monna Mokoena is a highly respected and innovative curator, well known on the South African arts landscape. He also established Gallery MOMO in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2003. MOMO not only exhibits but also represents leading contemporary South African and international artists. Mokoena’s focus is on contemporary work that stretches boundaries, nurturing a global platform for our continent's extraordinary creative impetus.
As an independent curator Mokoena also undertakes commissioned projects. Corporate clients, architects, designers, government departments and many artists have worked with him to develop art strategies and processes that align with organisational objectives. He enjoys collaborating and bringing substantial knowledge of the arts in South Africa and worldwide to the table. On an ongoing basis, he is involved in the management of various art collections as well as sitting on various boards in an advisory capacity.
The founding of Gallery MOMO – “From shack to chic”
There is no arguing that the commercial gallery sector in Africa remains negligible, with little or no visibility within the globally art marketplace. In South Africa there are a growing number of private galleries, small and large operating on professional international standards.

From shack to chic will talk about the South African gallery sector focusing on the birth and growth of MOMO Gallery. It will present its portfolio of artists, its exhibitions and projects. It will also talk about the way in which it is building a slow and steady national and international visibility not only for the gallery but also its artists.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Sefi Atta at Terra Kulture

INVITATION

Terra Kulture in collaboration with Farafina request your presence at a book reading on Friday 27 February, 2009

Venue: Terra Kulture

Plot 1376 Tiamiyu Savage Crescent

Victoria Island

Lagos

Time: 6.00pm prompt

The books: Lawless and Swallow

The Author: Sefi Atta, Winner of the inaugural Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa

Admission is free.

Like A Virgin... Lucy Azubuike & Zanele Muholi

SATURDAY 7TH FEB 2PM

THE MOST PROVOCATIVE EXHIBITION OF THE YEAR


Like a Virgin... Lucy Azubuike and Zanele Muholi. This is an unmissable exhibition of two rising African women artists who defiantly put sexuality and the body at the centre of their work and challenge stereotypes within a patriarchal society.

PANEL DISCUSSION 2PM SAT 7TH FEB

The panel discussion promises to be enlightening and at times controversial. But then what is Art about if it continues to reinforce taboos. We have an interesting and critical panel including exhibiting artist Lucy Azubuike, emerging South African curator Gabi Ngcobo (co-curator of Cape Africa in 2007), artist and art historian Ken Okoli from Ahmadu Bello University. It will be moderated by Hansi Momodu, CCA,Lagos .

Cultural Stimulus with PAGES

PAGES, is the confluence of literature, art works, comics and photography. This programme is designed to converge fictionist, poets and playwrights at the Centre for Contemporary Art,Lagos, to give literary interpretation to the works being exhibited at the centre every month. Art is art. Be it literature, painting, poetry, pottering or sculpturing. This is the reason why Kowry Kreations Media, an African art and culture organization came up with this unifying concept in collaboration with Centre for Comtemporary Art,Lagos (CCA,Lagos) The first edition of the programme will be held at the centre.

Writer Jude Dibia reads excerpts from his novel, Walking with Shadows and joins the panel discussion in highlighting some of the themes about the body and sexuality. Walking with Shadows has been described as "A thought provoking tale of denial and the politics of African male sexuality" .


EXHIBITION RECEPTION 4.30pm
Look round the exhibition as you sip some wine and satisfy your taste buds with our delicious petit chops.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Interesting Sites

www.soyinkasociety.org
www.cafeafricana.com
www.fashionafrica.com

For more scroll down and view list on the right hand side of the page (only available on the blogger version of my blog http://alter-native-me.blogspot.com/)

2009 Preview: Art in a Vast Continent

By Sean O'Toole
Published: January 19, 2009
Culled from: http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/30069/2009-preview-art-in-a-vast-continent/

CAPE TOWN—Contemporary African creativity has been the source of much intrigue, argument, and hype in recent years, with shows aplenty in North America and Europe. That’s good news if you live in Paris or New York, less so if you’re a resident of Dakar or Luanda, Nairobi or Cape Town. Not that the 922 million inhabitants of the 53 states making up the world’s second-largest continent are without cultural entertainment. But you won’t read about it in Time Out Africa — there isn’t one. The problem is perhaps best summarized in a quote from the frustrated online editors of the Mail & Guardian, a leading South African weekly newspaper: “We, the people of this vast continent, do not all know each other, nor is the staff of this South African newspaper equipped to be an authority on every last detail of every last country; we don’t supply accommodation or act as travel agents.” This caveat noted, here is ARTINFO’s selective snapshot of highlights from Africa’s 2009 contemporary art and culture calendar.

FAN 2009 (Casablanca, March 30 – April 4, 2009)
The second edition of Casablanca's International Festival of Visual Arts & New Media is a showcase of performing arts, video, electronic music, dance, sound creation, and new media tomfoolery. Adopting a decentralized approach to exhibitions that is increasingly popular in Africa, FAN’s various performances, shows, interactive videod, and multimedia installations and screenings will be hosted in a variety of Moroccan cities in addition to Casablanca. The event is complemented by a colloquium that looks at new personalities in digital arts and culture.

Joburg Art Fair (Johannesburg, April 3–5, 2009)
Now in its second edition, the Joburg Art Fair is still a mostly South African affair. This said, the lineup this year includes emissaries from Nigeria and Egypt — although New York’s Jack Shainman Gallery, notable for its promotion of contemporary African art internationally, has elected not to show. The Centre for Contemporary Art, founded in late 2007 by Nigerian critic Bisi Silva, is an independent nonprofit art organization based in Lagos; Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery, which represents photographer Youseff Nabil, formerly an assistant to David Lachapelle, was established in 1998 and is Egypt’s leading commercial art gallery, with significant reach into North Africa and the Mediterranean Middle East. Following on Robin Rhode at last year’s debut, Jane Alexander, the stoic South African sculptor famous for eschewing the commercial dealer scene, is the fair’s featured artist; she will show Security, an anxious sculptural installation originally exhibited at the 2006 São Paulo Bienal. (Alexander is also showing at Jack Shainman from March 19 through April 18.)- YOU CAN SPOT ME AT THIS EVENT REPRESENTING CCA,LAGOS.

Cape 09 (Cape Town, May 2 – June 19, 2009)
The second edition of Cape Town’s contemporary art biennial is taking a more modest approach after a disastrous launch in 2006 that saw the event postponed at the last minute and curator Gavin Jantjes resign from his role as artistic director. Although no names are forthcoming yet, the curatorial premise satellites around the idea of re-imagining the host city, which despite its famed natural splendor and viticulture is faced with a critical housing shortage, unemployment, and ongoing racial segregation. The event will also showcase a range of projects curated by interns from organizing body CAPE’s Young Curator’s Programme. The biennial, which recently invited Brazilian artist Rodrigo Bueno to speak about his participation at curator Ivo Mesquita’s controversial 2008 São Paulo Bienal, actively promotes dialogue and exchange about contemporary art from outside the accepted power blocks of North America, Europe, and, increasingly, Asia.

World Summit on Arts and Culture (Johannesburg, September 22–25, 2009)
Convened by the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), the fourth iteration of this triennial event is to be held in Johannesburg, following previous editions in Ottawa, Singapore, and Newcastle. The aim is to celebrate and investigate the impact of the arts on society, the economy, and nation building, in particular the role of public funders (such as arts councils and ministries of culture). The experiences of the host state, South Africa, in this field will inform many of the discussions.


Bamako Biennial of Photography 2009
(Bamako, November 2009)
Founded in 1994 by French photographers Françoise Huguier and Bernard Descamps, this event began with the mission “to underline the richness of a poorly known sector of African creation.” In the years since, many international reputations have been made at the event, including those of photographer Samuel Fosso and Simon Njami, former Revue Noire editor and co-curator of the controversial 2007 African Pavilion in Venice (it showcased work from the collection of Congolese businessman Sindika Dokolo, whose wealth is alleged to have derived from his father’s ties to Mobutu Sese Seko, former dictator of Zaire). The eighth edition of the photography festival will be the first since Njami stepped down as artistic director. To date, a replacement artistic director has not been announced by the event’s driving force, CulturesFrance, an international agency for the French ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture and Communications.

FESMAN 2009 (Dakar, December 1–21, 2009)
In 1966, Senegalese poet and president Léopold Senghor piloted the launch of the Festival Mondial des Arts Nègres (World Festival of Black Arts), a pan-African multidisciplinary arts festival held in the Senegalese capital of Dakar. A second version was organized more than a decade later in the Nigerian capital of Lagos, in 1977. Now, more than three decades after that, the event returns to its spiritual ground zero, Dakar, encompassing a variety of emblematic sites, including Gorée Island, a former slave trading post; though it also involves venues in the capitals of Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Mauritania, and Mali. The multidisciplinary festival covers the visual and performing arts, as well as furniture and textile design and architecture.


Lets get other events around the continent publicised!
If you have an event coming up do send me an email @ layobrown@yahoo.com. The earlier the better, as you can see from the dates of these events!

Also check out this article I posted sometime last year: http://alter-native-me.blogspot.com/2008/06/weighing-africa-in-south-africa.html

Like A Virgin… Lucy Azubuike & Zanele Muholi




29th January – 14th March 2009


Curator: Bisi Silva
Curatorial Assistant: Hansi Momodu

The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present the works of Nigerian artist Lucy Azubuike and South African photographer, Zanele Muholi in the exhibition "Like A Virgin…" . The works highlights women's experiences, identities, their bodies and sexuality, in a manner yet to be explored in contemporary Nigerian art.

Since 1999, Azubuike has created a large, ongoing body of work of her menstruation cycle. These simple images of menstrual blood serve as a diary, a book of visual narratives containing insights into personal reflections and experiences such as love, hope, disappointment and friendship. In another series, Azubuike focuses on photographing trees. She moves from the autobiographical and the personal to the public and focuses on the way in which culture, tradition and religion, the embodiments of patriarchal society impact negatively on women. These manifest as outdated, oppressive and discriminatory acts such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), widowhood rites, girl/child marriages. Azubuike says "women enforce it on their own women, they think it is culture, they accept it even though they don't like it."

Zanele Muholi's conceptual strategies are similar to Azubuike, however the physicality of the black female body is brought to the fore in her work. Indignant about being spoken for, about the portrayal of and attitude towards black lesbians, especially in the townships, over the past four years her work has set out to document the lives of 'her' people and 'her' community. The ensuing result are images as intimate as they are confrontational, provocative and transgressive. Muholi shows us the multidimensional aspects of black lesbian life and how they negotiate their private lives and the public space. In public the most virulent being the violence perpetrated again their person, one in which the rape of black lesbians by black men is seen as a curative process. This rape, this violence, this attempt to spill blood is metaphorically captured in the body of work "Period". Using the symbolic power of menstrual blood, she highlights not only a process of violence and pain but also of renewal and rebirth. Muholi remains defiant, asserting that "stereotypes about the sexuality of black women need to be challenged by African women themselves. My photographs provide the radical aesthetic for women to speak."

The idea of "Like A Virgin…" came before the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos became a reality in 2007. It was the appropriate catalyst in a context in which few, if any platforms exist for artistic practice that strays from the conventional and the conservative. This is such a project, not because it presents groundbreaking or cutting edge art, as artists have dealt with the issues of womanhood, the body and sexuality and made provocative works for over thirty years. However, within the embryonic Nigerian art context scene, it is precisely that – groundbreaking and provocative. In an intransigent patriarchal society in which sexism is prevalent and in which homophobia is legalised, few if any artists have presented complex, provocative works on the body and sexuality the way Azubuike and Muholi are doing. Two young African women working on the continent, pushing boundaries, confronting taboos and challenging stereotypes, in essence expressing themselves and their lives in a way few of their predecessors have done before.



The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with texts by Bisi Silva and Christine Eyene.



Like A Virgin… is supported by the Prince Claus Fund and the Commonwealth Foundation