‘The Photographs Are Always Speaking’: Exploring Rights, Power and Identity
From October 11 to 23, 2018, Omenka Gallery will present ‘The Photographs Are Always Speaking’: Exploring Rights, Power and Identity’, an exhibition of photographs by Dr Naluwembe Binaisa.
Photography has played a significant role in the nature of Nigeria’s politics of identity, governance and human rights in a history chequered by conflict. This exhibition explores that history and proposes two alternating rhythms:
An enduring ‘Aesthetics of Community’ that runs through photographic practices that reflect an alternative cosmology rooted in ancient ways of seeing and ways of being.
An ‘Aesthetics of Conflict’ that reflects the ‘failed’ promise of the colonial encounter and governance structures that encourage and frustrate the aspirations of citizens.
In this hopeful yet adversarial environment that pits brother against brother, sister against sister, this exhibition brings together photographs to explore the intersection of photography, rights, power and identity in Nigeria.
The exhibition looks through the creative lenses of photographers to explore these interlocking themes:
- Rights and responsibilities: personhood and aesthetics
- Heritage/inheritance: architectures of freedom
- Wait and Get: who do you think you are?
- Media: the case of the missing photographs
This exhibition draws on research conducted by Dr Naluwembe Binaisa, University College London, under the EU-funded project ‘Citizens of Photography: The Camera and The Political Imagination’. Thanks and appreciation go to the photographers and communities based in Lagos, Ile-Ife and Ila Orangun who participated in the research. Thanks also to the Fine Arts Dept, Obafemi Awolowo University, the Ransome-Kuti Archive, University of Ibadan, the Obasanjo Olusegun Presidential Library Archives and the Ben Enwonwu Foundation, Lagos.
Dr Naluwembe Binaisa is an inter-disciplinary scholar whose research seeks in different ways to understand the multiple intersections within mobilities of belonging, citizenship, gender, generation and transnational socio-economic cultural dynamics. Naluwembe is currently based at University College London working on the project: ‘Citizens of Photography, the Camera and the Political Imagination’. Prior to joining UCL she was research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity leading a project on mobile telephony and negotiating life in the mega-city Lagos. Prior to joining Max Planck Naluwembe was based at Oxford in the International Migration Institute, Oxford Department of International Development, working on the Mobility in the African Great Lakes Project and the African Diasporas within Africa project.
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