October 5, 2019 - Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos - Diaspora at Home
October 5, 2019

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos

Em’kal Eyongakpa, Untitled 1 (naked routes), 2011. Black and white photograph. Courtesy the artist, KADIST collection.

Diaspora at Home
November 3, 2019–January 31, 2020

Opening: November 3, 4–7pm

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos
9 McEwen Street

T +234 702 836 7106

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With Nidhal Chamekh, Bady Dalloul, Em’kal Eyongakpa, Rahima Gambo, Laura Henno, Abraham Oghobase, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Chloé Quenum.  And screenings by Jumana Manna and Marie Voignier.

The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos) and KADIST, Paris are pleased to present Diaspora at Home a group exhibition which provides an opportunity to engage in a variety of conversations on the issue of mobility within Africa. The exhibition is presented in memory of Bisi Silva (1962 - 2019), founder of CCA, Lagos who strongly believed in promoting cultural exchanges and creating new networks throughout Africa.

Diaspora at Home takes the KADIST collection as a resource to be articulated in shifting cultural conditions, reflecting on the role of artistic forms in the circulation of knowledge within the African continent. Rather than transporting their artworks to Lagos, a group of international artists were invited to produce new projects on-site and create conversations with the local art scene. The artists engage with the complex interdependencies between peoples and the social consequences of the diverse mobility within Africa. Em’kal Eyongakpa collects sounds of water and sounds from the ongoing (but much ignored) civil war in Cameroon to create kinetic sound installations, while Laura Henno sheds light on the European border in the archipelago Comoros, in the Indian ocean. Mobility is seen through the lens of flora and fauna; with Chloé Quenum revealing the story behind the transnational journey of fruits from the market of Lagos; or with Rahima Gambo exploring time-geography from a feminist perspective through the weaver bird. This project is also the occasion of looking at the historical connections between the North and the south of the Sahara, Bady Dalloul reflects on the history of the North African and Middle Eastern communities based in the city of Lagos. The series of screenings opens the question of mobility beyond the continent, Marie Voignier will present her current research where she traces the journey of female African entrepreneurs in China.

In the context of a current global discourse where the “South-North exodus” occupies media attention and becomes ever more precarious, statistics show that most Africans move within their own country, in rural-to-urban migration, or to other countries in the same region, therefore creating diasporas at home and abroad. While the term diaspora is now used to refer to any migrant groups and their descendants who maintain a link with their place of origin, it is rarely applied to African populations within Africa. This seems strange when one juxtaposes two persistent themes that often recur in many discussions about the continent: a history and practice of migration long before colonization, and people’s close attachment to place.

Recent events in South Africa have highlighted not only the presence of African diasporas in the country but Xenophobia towards African migrants. Within Nigeria, there have been instances where states “deported” homeless citizens to other parts of the country. Thus, with rising population explosion in urban areas, internal conflicts provoked by resource control and desire for international travel enhanced by the proliferation of the internet, mobility within Africa is ripe for debate. 

Diaspora at Home is co-curated by Iheanyi Onwuegbucha (CCA, Lagos) and Sophie Potelon (KADIST, Paris), and is part of KADIST’s international collaborations program.

With the support of Institut Français, Paris and Alliance Française, Lagos.

Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos
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