This started as a research notebook. Now, I am going about it less systematically and use this blog just as a means to organise my thoughts and ideas, mainly about visual cultures and artistic practices in northern Nigeria, whenever I feel a need for it. In between I use it as a space to drop bits and pieces that may or may be not related.
07 December 2016
06 December 2016
For travelling short distances, you can use motorbike taxis called Okada. These motorbikes are quick, cheap and save a lot of walking but they are also very dangerous. Okada accidents are very common but safety equipment are now provided because the state government and in fact the Federal Road Safety Commission has mandated it. If you want to take the risk, you can safely halve their first price, and usually there are lots to choose from. Before you try and negotiate, confirm the fare from a local. If you have a Nigerian friend, let them negotiate for you as the quoted fare differs greatly for locals and foreigners (for obvious reasons). Choose an older driver as the younger ones are cowboys.
Safety Helmets are a must at all times for both the rider and passenger. Majority of times these are ill-fitting and sometimes even absent.
By law, Okadas are forbidden to ply after dark(7PM) for safety reasons. Avoid taking an Okada for long distances, while it's raining and in the night since majority of mainland is devoid of street lights.
30 November 2016
Someone needs to do a photo series on 'Nigerian Traffic Art' or 'Truck Art of Nigeria'. #Lagos #Traffic pic.twitter.com/JO6gbWTHU2— Femi Falodun (@Hephef) November 16, 2016
29 November 2016
… a growing number of wealthy Nigerians and international collectors are viewing the country's latest artistic creations with an eye on profit as well as aesthetics. Word of new talent in Lagos spreads quickly to London and New York where the market for contemporary African art is booming. Some buyers are quietly betting that many pieces as will be as well received as work from China once was. New Nigerian art is also resonating more strongly home, supported by a fast-evolving infrastructure of galleries, exhibitions and prizes. Rather than pursuing more timeless or abstract themes, painters, sculptors and photographers are building new audiences by engaging with social issues ranging from the Boko Haram insurgency to the impact of the migration crisis and evolving gender dynamics.
A painting of the Shehu of Borno sits in one of his sitting rooms. A donation by Senator Abubakar Kyari to the Shehu on the day of Coronation.A photo posted by Yerwa (@bitsofborno) on
I love photography and love what it can do as a medium to tell a story. Hence, I’ve decided to use that to document my home state of Borno simply because the religious crisis that has ravaged it showcases only the trauma and despair while forgetting that there are survivors trying to lead normal lives and go on every day despite the insurgency. It is as vital to show resilience as it is death and destruction. Hence my need to capture this aspect of our lives. In my opinion a good photograph is what speaks to your soul. … What I hope to achieve with the photos is to help people see that we are thriving, living, moving on and help rekindle memories of old glory.
'I am the Vice Chairman of the Supporters club. And I've been supporting the El-Kanemi team for 25 years. I am a football fan right from the grassroot. And here's every need for me to support the state team. They are the flag bearers of my state. I remember when we won the Challenge Cup in 1991, Lagos. We beat the Kano pillars. We won consecutively in 1991 and 1992. I was able to attend because the government provided buses for fans. I attend every game' Mustapha #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #documentaryphotography #documentaryphotojournalismA photo posted by Yerwa (@bitsofborno) on
Abubakar is one of the survivors [of the Boko Harm insugency]. During the ongoing insurgency, she has lost neighborhood friends and her mother's best friend was shot. Her family were forced to relocate for a time due to the hostilities. … Abubakar has made it her mission to document the lives of the people of Maiduguri, finding both deep trauma and steely resilience along the way. …
"The (media) focus has been entirely on the bomb blasts, the deaths and the displaced," she says, and though she concedes that those are not unimportant subjects. She adds "I feel there's less focus on anybody left... I wanted people to see after the bomb blast, who was left behind."
A truck at the Cattle Market in Maiduguri aptly has 'No condition is permanent' painted on it. The insurgency that has plagued Borno seems unending but the hope is evident in everyday life as trade goes on. Also proud to present our work going places. Instagrammer Fati Abubakar takes us beyond Boko Haram in Nigeria’s Borno State | Africa is a Country - http://africasacountry.com/2015/10/bitsofborno/ #bitsofborno #photojournalism #documentaryphotographyA photo posted by Yerwa (@bitsofborno) on
With her camera, Abubakar has patrolled Maiduguri for the last six months seeking out personal stories and captioning her images accordingly. …Her lens has captured schoolchildren and grandmothers, vigilantes and merchants, all with a story to tell. People like Alhaji Bukar Tijjani who complains that business has slowed since trade connections with Niger, Chad and Cameroon closed. Mohammed like others Abubakar has met, is putting his trust in Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, and believes change is already at hand.
"I ask them about what has happened, how they are coping, just very normal questions," she explains. However with Maiduguri's newest residents "it's usually the same stories that keep occurring. People who have lost family, people who have lost parents," she says, trailing off.
(P.S. Apologies that my choice of photographs from among Abubakar's Instagram account reflects my own interest in the visual arts rather than her more humane interests.)
27 November 2016
A new auction record was set for the Nigerian-born artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby in New York last week when "Drown" soared to sell for $1,092,500, over three times the high-estimate ($200,000-$300,000), in Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale. No fewer than 11 bidders competed for the work that was eventually sold to an anonymous buyer on the telephone.This was the second time in less than two months that the auction record for Njideka Akunyili Crosby had been broken at Sotheby's. The previous auction record for the artist was $93,750, set by her "Untitled" work from 2011 at Sotheby's New York in September 2016."Drown" is an intimate self-portrait of the artist with her husband, Justin, and demonstrates beautifully how the layers of Njideka Akunyili Crosby's work reference the layers of her own identity.In May next year, Sotheby's will launch its first dedicated sales of "African Modern and Contemporary Art" in London, led by Hannah O'Leary, Sotheby's recently-appointed Head of Modern and Contemporary African Art.(source: This Day via AllAfrica.com)