Nkiruka Jane Nwafor
- Lecturer II
- Nnamdi Azikiwe University
The Imperatives of Visual Activism in the Works of Two Contemporary Nigerian Female Artists, Nnenna Okore and Lucy Azubuike
Nnenna Okore and Lucy Azubuike are two Nigerian women artists, who belong to the younger generation of artists familiar with contemporary art media. They explore contemporary art genres that are not only thought provoking but also, in an era of advanced technologies, offered liberating but globalized perspective to art, cultural differencies and other personal concerns. This project argues that both artists in their respective styles, employ contemporary media and genre such as, installation, conceptual photography, film and performance art to deconstruct political, societal and historical assumptions in Nigeria concerning women and women's art practices and how these impact their lives and position in the twenty-first century. Their artistic projects not only challenge ideas about conventional genres, they also constitute contemporary visual activism, intended to bring to the fore ploitical, cultural, societal and historical issues in Africa.
Imagining the nation in the Facebook photo archive of ‘The Nigerian Nostalgia 1960 -1980 Project’
‘The Nigerian Nostalgia 1960 -1980 Project’ (NNP) is a Facebook page that uses mainly photographs to narrate historical and topical events involving Nigeria between 1960 and 1980. These Facebook photographs provoke debates on the Nigerian national history and identity yet many scholars have not recognized the rich promise online photographs hold in formulating new theories of the nation in Africa. In this project I show how a contemporary postcolonial history of Nigeria is shaped and sustained by a nexus of proliferating, inter-textual cultural forms and meanings produced through analogue photographs digitized and posted in NNP Facebook page. I draw upon Benedict Anderson’s theory of imagined community and Edward Said’s concept of how images constitute part of the struggle over nation, to argue that analogue photographs digitized and posted on NNP Facebook page stimulate massive responses that oppose normative narratives of Nigerian history and identity as disseminated through official government archives.