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Art Mobile, Lagos. Maiden Edition

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Art Mobile Lagos (AML) is a cultural art gathering in Lagos, Nigeria where artists, academics (speakers) and the public will meet to exchange and reflect on matters of concern. During AML, markets, parks, roads, empty buildings will be occupied and activated to affect societal conversations. AML will host dancers, visual artists, graphic illustrators, actors, and other creatives from Nigeria and abroad. As a community development project, we will facilitate workshops and symposiums where the public will participate for free.

The gathering is unique in the Nigerian cultural sector. It will give equal opportunities to all art forms and art makers. Also, it encourages a platform of discourse and engages the public in strategic public spaces where anyone, everyone will have access to it. It is the only indigenous modern cultural gathering that is reinventing mobile art in Nigeria. Mobile theater was prominent during the time of Hubert Ogunde and his travelling theater.

Nowadays, there is little interest in creating mobile art, but with AML, that will be re-established.

AML will bring together thousands of young people to encounter heartwarming cultural interpretation. Whoever understands the African cultural performance space knows that public spaces often transform into theater arena and festival ground. During such festivals, masquerades occupy the street in protest sometimes, questioning monarchical political policy in favor of the masses. Our collective fervently emphasizes the fundamentals of this traditional approach and the essence of art in the community. We will channel our energy in a contemporary approach to the actions of the masquerade and Ogunde travelling theater, to mobilize a positive reconstruction of Nigerian communities.

On the streets of Mainland and Lagos Island, there will be performances flooding the city on several socio-political and economic issues. Through the works that will be on display, the public will be entertained and informed. Our dream is to continue the culture of ritual and performance as perpetuated by the pre-colonial African (Nigerian) communities. The gathering focuses on the sustainability of African communities in a post-colonial era, and we will be working with young people. We believe that working with these generations of people will reposition and redress the dispensation of information and empower them. This effort, we hope will cultivate a hybrid of new values and norms in our communities.

The cultural event is an initiative of the creative lab, Illuminatetheatre as they celebrate their fifth year anniversary. It has been five years of zero support. We have funded all our projects from private funds from individuals who make up the collective and the returns we get from the benevolence of our friends. AML 2020 themed “Soji” is the inaugural gathering of Art Mobile, Lagos. We give thanks to the support of Goethe Institute Nigeria, Sebastian Loerscher, Diana Ejaita, Kolajo Omotayo Ahmed, Crown troupe, Naomi, and all invited artists and speakers who had answered our call when we needed them. Without the support of these people and organisations mentioned above, the realization of this project most likely would have been of extreme difficulty.

AML kicks off on the 25th, for pre-gathering, while the gathering begins on the 27th and runs till 29th of November 2020.

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