J.D. ’Okhai Ojeikere
J.D. ’Okhai Ojeikere (1930 – 2014) introduced visitors to a powerful and diverse archive of photographs spanning more than six decades of artistic practice. Although most viewers recognized Ojeikere’s iconic and widely-exhibited “Hairstyles” and “Headgear” images, providing a broader context allowed for reconsidering his seminal projects by presenting them in relation to several other bodies of images—few of which had been widely seen. Without a doubt, Ojeikere’s interests in hairstyles and headdresses did not develop in isolation but were part of a much larger artistic project, which was encyclopedic in nature and ranged from portraiture to architecture. Through his lens, Ojeikere captured an important period in Nigerian history – that of a modern nation in formation.
The Plantation Boy
Uche Okpa-Iroha presented his award-winning series The Plantation Boy, a multilayered project that collectively examines the relationship between the history of Western cinema and the media dynamics of race. Okpa-Iroha meticulously inserts himself in the frame of the image, through strategies of reconstruction and reenactment. He intervenes in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 movie, The Godfather, by isolating and appropriating forty original film stills from the seminal movie.
Bits of Borno
The insurgency that has plagued Borno State for years has so far distorted its image, overshadowing the beauty of its traditions and conservative lifestyle. With Bits of Borno: Bruised but Not Broken, Fati Abubakar sought to reconfigure the perception of Borno State by showing not only the impact of the crisis on its people and cities but also their resilience and normality. Fati Abubakar is a documentary photographer, photojournalist, and public health humanitarian worker. Using photography, she documents culture, conflict, urban poverty, rural development, and humanitarian issues in Nigeria at the community level while countering narratives for underrepresented communities.