Figurations of the Feminine in Contemporary Art from Lagos, Nigeria


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Art History


This project focuses on the ethical and aesthetic need for devising new languages for the feminine among contemporary Nigerian artists, working within structures of production and circulation in Lagos. Drawing from an understanding of figurations as living maps of a changing but politically informed position, I conceive the feminine not as the reification of a binary, but rather as an exercise of freedom embracing practices of fugitivity. In this way, I illustrate how Taiye Idahor’s works on paper, Rahima Gambo’s poetic archives, and Jelili Atiku’s street performances produce figurations of the feminine with material remains from lost, undervalued, or disavowed epistemologies. Such figurations are a means to explore the possibilities for transnational feminism and the revaluation of black lives.