Occupy Nigeria

28 January 2012

On the 9th of January the Nigerian Labour and Trade Unions and other civil organisations called for a nationwide strike to protest the remove of subsidy that kept petrol prices at an affordable rate. The 116% increase was unpalatable especially to the financially disadvantaged citizens who considered it the only benefit they enjoyed from the country’s oil wealth, most of which is squandered by the government. The week started off with small pockets of unrest and moderate crowds that gradually gave way to full-fledged dissent throughout the nation. This movement, reminiscent of other global “occupy” demonstrations can be seen in light of a variety of issues that currently plague the nation—foremost among them being the country’s stagnant economy, its dilapidated transport, education and health infrastructures, and the ever-present parasitic forms of political corruption.

Within this context, CCA, Lagos is holding a one day event including photography projections by artists Uche James Iroha, Abraham Oghobase, Andrew Esiebo and Victor Ehikhamenor, twitter projection by Emeka Ogboh as well as protest material and other ephemera from performance artist Jelili Atiku and snippets from artist Chinwe Uwatse. The panel discussion, will include cultural critics, writers, lawyers, Toyin Akinosho, Jide Bello, Toni Kan and Joke Silva who will critically assess the current state of affairs, the outcomes of the “occupy” movement, and the nation’s future. The forum will place a particular emphasis on exploring the role of the arts and social media in the recent chain of events.

Developed and organised by Bisi Silva and Jude Anogwih.

In addition CCA, Lagos, on the occasion of the Occupy Nigeria forum, CCA, Lagos has the pleasure of presenting a video work by the Algerian artist Kader Attia. A single screen projection, Attia’s Oil and Sugar #2 (2007) is an evocative four and half minute video work portraying the interplay of two raw materials: oil and sugar. Replete with allusions to ephemerality, destruction and transformation, Attia’s video, and the material substances with which it engages, elicits timely associations with colonial and imperial legacies and their residual effects on the present.

Born in 1970 in Dugny, France to parents of Algerian origin, Attia studied philosophy and art in Paris and Barcelona before spending two years doing national civil service in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2003 Lyon Biennial (2005) and the Bamako Biennale (2009). He lives and works in Berlin and Algiers.

Organised by Jude Anogwih. Photographs by Taiye Idahor.

Note: Occupy Nigeria replaces our scheduled programme Contested Terrains (21st Jan – 3rd Mar 2012) which was to tour to Lagos after its first showing at Tate Modern London in 2011.

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