s a gathering for street performances, rituals, discussions, talks and discoveries for international literary activists and all kinds of art makers. The goal is to meet, engage, discuss, collaborate, network, teach, inspire, share, interact, create and exchange through workshops, film screenings, exhibitions and symposiums. The idea was conceptualized from the Nigerian doctrine of Odun which portrays how vital energies are transmitted according to time and season in a communal gathering.
In this gathering meeting, we shall reflect on internal intuitions upon external structures in a conversation to find meaning to existence. We aspire to bring together artistic encounters into different public spaces in the city of Lagos. It is a nonprofit contemporary art meeting with the primary motivation of initiating a dialogue between academics, intellectuals, artists, other cultural practitioners and the public to reflect on social and political matters. As a cultural hub we intend to posit African contemporary art in its highly international purview through aforementioned activities. The activities which would come in diverse approaches through residencies, research, public programs and publications will merit adventurous addition to art making and critical discourse. This will lead to new public interest, reawake mobile and public art, inform and cultivate new local and international audiences and positively impact the community. The dynamism and complexity of the gathering makes it flexible and mobile in nature, as it will pop up in different public spaces, galleries, markets and exhibition halls in the city of Lagos.
While attempting to respond to the recurring questions and challenges faced by African communities, art makers and contemporary African art, we have proactively infiltrated a platform for formative cultural events that will influence positive reconstruction. Through cultural exchanges, we want to get more attention to discussions which are global topics today. Our effort we hope may sensitize the African community and create a network in which artistic and public gatherings collide strengths in public spaces to find a solution to human induced phenomenon.
The title was adapted from the Nigerian slang “Wake-up” as used by daily commuters on the streets of Lagos. The cosmopolitan mega city with her energetic vibes gives birth to such provocative words that inspire her inhabitants to survive her daily hustle, bustle and tussle. We have decided to meditate on this public contemporary history to fabricate an awareness of African communities.
During the gathering we will consciously bring us back to the past while we fast forward to the present in the context of post-colonialism and the significance of African contemporary art in its communities. Africa is confronted with the wits of colonial strength. The social environment of the continent is highly inflated by the disguise of assimilation policies. The nations which were colonies are now culturally engaged with the droplets of colonialist mentality, language, food, mode of dressing, music, religion etc. A virtual proof of colonial heritage. History, culture and traditional experiences determine our political and social environment. However, African contemporary art has integrated and materialized over time with the relationship between the historical and the current vision. This relationship leads us to the future.
SOJI, our theme for this year, is a connection between history, vision and essence of art in African contemporary society. Taking into consideration how other creatives, artists and communities are responding to the possibilities, challenges and sustainability of art in postcolonial communities. Our idea comes from incorporating Hubert Ogunde and Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed which reflects on political and social realities of the period when socio-political practices influence existence. We have decided to activate the relative of culture and politics as interpreted by the two artistic pedigrees. The connectivity and influence of both artistic approaches has helped us to develop this new form. Furthermore, SOJI is a clarion call to neocolonialism and rationalization of the significance of art in modern societies. The integration of history and culture has transformed every community. This is fundamental to the interpretation of the art. It is an ardent phenomenon and recurring matter of discussion for us as we fall in between the intellectual and creative space and social public gatherings. We will facilitate the gathering as a thought provoking mechanism intended to raise questions about such consequences and establish this relationship needed. This integration between our international congregation will open our discourse from a multi-continental perspective and assemble optional possibilities of sustainability of contemporary African art and
Chaos is a multimedia dance piece that explores the anthropocentric views of humanity. It posits how the balance we sort for becomes imbalance within the same system we hope to change in the presence of constant assessment. The dance piece view life in a developing state checks the designed human politics, questions choices, and exhibits its ripple effect on societal and global boundaries.
It is as a metaphor to reach out to persons, collectives, organizations and systems about the damage they have caused humanity in the process of meeting an end which presently is destroying the human epoch and the present state of nature.
is a multimedia dance performance responding to manhood as a social phenomenon. It explores masculinity from a diverse perspective. The performance highlights male dominance in the context of power manipulation in politics, social affairs and pays strict attention to his cultural representation.
It is an experimental film collage and live performance work based on a decidedly African perspective on the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, in which Western colonial powers divided the African continent into colonial territories. It plays through a division of geographical Europe and thus demonstrates the high degree of external determination of the procedure. In the performance, there is an enactment of a visibly performed division and reorganization of Europe (Performance; Ojudun Taiwo Jacob, film: Viki Simone; Music: Pete Nattrass and Blue Saloon; Map: Sebastian Loerscher).
Olugba is a total theatre performance portraying immigration as perceived from our perceptive as Nigerians and how it has affected the global scene. The performance is self-realization and encouragement to African youths to stay in their home country and tackle the moribund situation.
Featuring: Ojudun Taiwo Jacob, Oluwu Busayo, Encechukwu Uche, Babatunde Ojo, Jakob Mache.
Duration: 40 min
Location: Barriga market Lagos, Nigeria (premiere, 2018)
is a research-based performance primarily concentrated on the trauma, challenges, and struggles of young people, the performance engages different young people from different locations on the streets of Lagos in verbal communication during its inception. While creating this work we navigated into different genres of the regular daily life of young persons and especially spread across domestic but disturbing issues like sexual assault, feminism, ailment, masculinity, drug abuse featuring: Ojudun Taiwo Jacob, Olowu Busayo, Enechukwu Uche, Babatunde Ojo Odiong Kate, Simileoluwa Oyewale, Nifemi Akinde ,Kingsley Okoro).
Lagos Dance Gathering, Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos Theatre Festival, Lagos, Nigeria
Theatre Republic, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria
Surulere and Iwaya, Lagos Nigeria
Premiered in Ajeliye compound, Bariga, Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos Book and Art Festival, Lagos, Nigeria
Awca block party, Broad street Lagos, Nigeria
is a dance piece with high social relevance. The dance piece talks about the struggles of young people growing up in Nigeria, where it was inspired and created. The body movements in this dance piece draw inspiration from daily life experience in Nigeria; surviving in a ghetto, looking for shelter, bumping inside Danfo (minibus), being robbed on your way home, looking for a job after a degree from higher institution … Basically, the performance delves into the current socio-political and economic crisis from the perspective of the performers. The dance piece involves a team of three dancers and two sound artists. It mainly utilizes abstract physical movements with a blend of simple musical instruments (guitar, bell, gourd gong, empty water bottle…) and, more importantly, the sound created by the performance space( featuring: Ojudun Taiwo Jacob, Olowu Busayo, Enechukwu Uche, Babatunde Ojo Nifemi Akinde).
Lagos Dance Gathering, Lagos, Nigeria
TruFesta, Freedom Park, Lagos, Nigeria
Bariga Open Air Festival (BOAT), Lagos, Nigeria
University of Lagos conference Hall, Lagos, Nigeria
Footprints of David Academy Festival (FODAF), Lagos, Nigeria
Premiere, Sabo Market, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria
Dancing Cities, Lagos, Nigeria