Legacies of Biafra
From January 11 to March 21, 2018, Brunei Gallery will present Legacies of Biafra, a group exhibition featuring works predominantly from the artistic collective Nigeria Art Society UK (NASUK), which will be exhibited alongside archival materials on the war, oral narratives of those who lived through the war and a selection of short films. In an exploration of Britain and Biafra, the exhibition will showcase material from the personal archive of the late British-Nigerian writer Buchi Emecheta, which sheds light on the experience of watching the war in one’s homeland unfold through the lens of the international media.
Participating artists include Ade Ogundimu, Chinwe Chukuogo Roy (MBE), Imoesi Imhonigie, Obi Okigbo, Raymond Soko, Titus Agbara, Toni Ndikanwu, Edosa Oguigo, Ndidi Dike, Ngozi Schommers, Onyema Offoedu-Okeke and Uzo Egonu.
Legacies of Biafra explores the on-going impact of war locally and globally, taking into consideration how the first civil war in post-independence Africa has influenced the perception of the continent internationally, as well as reshaped the social and political structures within Nigeria. The exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Nigeria – Biafra civil war and explores the legacies of the British colonial divide and rule policy, global media coverage of the conflict, ethnic tensions, distrust and enmity which culminated in the civil war.
The Biafra civil war was a watershed moment in contemporary African history with its after-effects still visible in the country’s identity and fragile polity over the past 50 years. The outbreak of war signalled a sharp demise in the hopes and aspirations of independence, but the war also demonstrated the resilience, the spirit of survival and the capacity to overcome the adversity of those who endured it. Legacies of Biafra thus provides a timely reflection on the ongoing impact of the war. Whilst highlighting the conditions that led to the outbreak of war, the exhibition also creates a space to consider how this period in recent history resonates with and offers insight into contemporary conflicts in both Africa and the wider world.
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