All posts filed under: Recounts

Africa: A new game of “Scrabble”

We are in Amsterdam. We have been invited in the context of the 5th edition of the Unseen Photo Fair/Festival which takes places every year. We are African artists, curators and cultural operators. I have been scheduled alongside these proactive African cultural CEOs and Artistic Directors to speak in a panel. The panel in question is called ‘Platforms in Africa’. A couple of days ago, I was interviewed by a writer from Volkskrant, a very popular newspaper in The Netherlands with a readership of about 270,000. The content of this interview revolved around the most sensational perception: the sudden attention and renewed fixation on ‘Africa’ So here we are to discuss our various initiatives. We are set to go. After rounds of gruellingly long introductions by the moderator which made the whole affair seem like a live performative reading of the “About” page of websites and artists bios, we run out of time. I was disappointed to say the least. I have been invited one time too many to this kind of panel discussions, that …

Once Upon a Time in Cold Berlin – Part 2

Before I delve into the reason that prompted a return to this subject, it is imperative that I continue from where I left off in Once upon a Time in Cold Berlin – Part 1. As we would normally do at the debuting episode of a new season, let’s go back memory lane! 1. I traveled out of Nigeria for the first time in 2003, and since then I have not stopped. I am one of many Nigerians who are usually harassed and humiliated even before there was a reason for it – and usually for no reason other than my “green passport”… 2. In February 2010, one of my trips within Europe was brutally cut short and I was forced out of the continent. What did I do? I exceeded my visa for a period of eight days! I was stopped at the Schonefeld airport in Berlin by the Polizei (German federal Police), as I arrived from Paris. What followed next was a journey through the nightmares of so many immigrants and deportees of …

Lagos to Accra on ABC Transport

Where will I begin this one? It’s a few days after Christmas and the days are rushing towards the new year with lesser activities than before Christmas. I am in Lagos. Christmas for me has been sort of a laid-back one, more of reflections about life and its twists and curves. Naturally I was on the other side of things when it comes to all the high-sounding celebrations. But then an opportunity came, an idea struck. I could go to Accra for a few days rather than get stuck in the monotones of Christmas here. What is it like in Accra now? As a Trans-African being, a border-being so to speak, it was not at all an unwelcome thought, one that is likely to see the light of the day in action. Besides, Ghana has always been the much contested neighbor of Nigeria, and events constantly affirm that.

Sao Tome: Island of Greens and Decay

Sao Tomé. Until only a few days ago this Island has been somewhat of a miniscule dot on the map of my consciousness. I have heard of it, even managed to spot it in the map a few times, but I usually gloss over it with enough interest accorded to an obviously not interesting subject. Today, I am here. Invited by the biennale of Sao Tomé and Principle. A biennale initiated by the artist, João Carlos Silva and curated by Adeleide Ginga.

Addis Foto Fest , a Successful Strategy

As I am still on the move, I want to quickly share my experience so far of Addis and the First Addis Ababa Foto Fest a.k.a AFF. I arrived in Addis Ababa on the evening of the 4th of December 2010, flying five hours from Lagos with Ethiopian Airlines. It was a smooth journey, and when I arrived at the Bole International airport, the immigration routines where not at all complicated and in a few minutes I was already at the arrival area. Suddenly, I spotted Aida Muluneh! Now, about Aida Muluneh: she is one of the most energetic and positive-thinking photographer and artist I have ever met, with a warm outlook and a charming smile. When I first met Aida, it was in Paris and my first impression was “here is the young woman with so much energy to let out”. We discussed projects; what was wrong with the African art scene and what ought to be done, this was in 2007. One thing about such conversations of long hours in a bar over …