Thursday, 8 December 2011

A Recount of the Presentation & Images from Addis

It turned out to be a marvellous and chilly evening – although most attendees huddled their bodies together, eyes were focused on the projector screen. Aida Muluneh, Director of the Modern Art Museum, gave an opening address, which was followed by the equally short speech of His Excellency Paul Lolo, Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia. The presentation proper followed: Emeka introduced the project, then he called on me to speak on the blog. Following that, other participants spoke on their works. Their respective images were displayed on the screen as useful backdrops. Nana’s presentation concluded the session. She made an incisive commentary on the works of the each photographer, and gave an insight into her research, telling of the work of the artists she had interviewed in Tchad, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Eric Gottesman, an American filmmaker, whose professional friendship we have enjoyed since our arrival in Addis, made several dozens of photos, which provide a visual testimony of the evening. The photos have been collected into an album, and can be viewed on our Facebook Group. Ensure to check it out. The presentation ended with a small reception in the lobby of the Museum. Beer and pizza were served as refreshment.

We have taken the liberty to include the artist statements of each photographer, as a precursor to images taken in Addis. I believe that the synchronization of the photos and statements will provide a well-rounded view of the work that has been done in Addis, and in the previous cities. 

Boy on White

Cunningham Street Meeting - Piassa

ETC- Telephone - Piassa

Homeless and Passerby - Piassa

School Girl - Piassa

Silk on the Walk - Piassa

My project for this year’s road trip a revisit of an already on-going preoccupation, which I call Fragments of Moments. It is a series of photographic oeuvres produced in the span of Nigeria to Ethiopia through Tchad and Sudan, which looks at the coincidence between space and the people whom that space embodies. It is a visual rendition of the symbiotic relationship between a being and the space occupied in just a fragment of a moment.  The aesthetic landmark leans remarkably on the fact that components within the frame are intentionally structured in a geometric order to give every element – both animate and inanimate – a deserved presence and individuality, as if to say: “You are the Space, and the Space is You, one cannot be less prominent than the other”

Equally, within this structured frame, one can through the myriad tango between lines, colours, textures, objects and people decipher that dynamism, diversity as well as similarities which exist between people and places as we travel through borders from West to East of Africa.

Jumoke Sanwo – My Faces Project

Haile Jesus

Lady at Makato

Shaded - Makato Market

Spice - Makato Market

Colour Blue

A face can be a reflection of an individual’s circumstance or a barrier shielding his internal reflections… I am fascinated by faces and chose to explore the various Similarities and Differences it portrays …  
Ray-Daniels Okeugo – FORTIFICATION 

Foreman 24

Foreman 25

Foreman 27

Foreman 29

Foreman 30

This project is an extension of my growing knowledge of Africa, the disclosure of the ambiguous similarities that exists amongst us. Normally my approach is to flow with the rhythm of each moment but at same time building a body of work that I call “Fortification” which I illustrate by dramatizing my subject (s). I use hard-hat which is used by engineers and construction workers in construction locations as a means of half-protecting themselves from an accident that might never happen and (when it happens the person is obviously not completely protected).

This consciousness towards protection is applicable in our everyday activities as living beings, irrespective of age, gender, skin colour, position, etc. It  is a suggestive idea that juxtaposes itself with our quest for survival. But the questions still remains : Are we really protected when we take these precautions?

Is it not riskier not to take a risk?

Kemi Akin-Nibosun – POKART WAZ ERE

7 Years Back - Millenium Bridge, en route Addis Ababa

Bus Stop - Piassa

Buzz - Markato market

Crossing the Line - Mazegaja Road

My project is about imposing; crossing several borders and forming relationships.

Pokart is a pseudo name derived from a combination of my initials. The ‘waz ere’ is a reference to a popular contemporary English graffiti culture of which I’m very much subscribed to.

My personal take is that we need to be more lenient on the emphasis of telling “a story of Africa”, and concentrate more on the process which begets the story. Let Africa be the canvas! It’s one of two things; Africa can be your canvas or your catalyst and this is one of the thought process  I attempt to convey.


A Time with Myself - Mexico

It is all Connected

Just Another Mask - Piassa

Lost - Piassa

Reset Button...!!! - Piassa

I photograph building and construction sites, whose lines, grids and squares restrict like the limitations present around me. Shapes that open out like Hitchcock’s symphony of rear windows, except that these frames are devoid of content. Their empty geometry triggers senses and patterns of association. Ruins of memory. Scaffolds of things to come.