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NEW NIGERIA STUDIOS


Words by Helen Jennings
24 November 2020


As media partner for ART X Lagos 2020, Nataal profiles four of the End SARS photographers being supported by the fair

When Nigerians took to the streets across the country in October to protest against police brutality and demand that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad be disbanded, a sense of empowerment was felt and shared among young Nigerians everywhere. #EndSARS went viral while it was announced that SARS would indeed be dissolved. The unlawful acts of violence and repression that followed, including the Lekki Toll Gate massacre that saw army forces kill at least 12 people, has not stopped this youth-led movement which continues to call for real and sustained change.

ART X Lagos stepped up during the protests to offer support to several photographers documenting this moment in history from the front line. And now some of their key works will be exhibited as the special project New Nigeria Studios at the rescheduled digital edition of the art fair from 2 to 9 December 2020.

“We share a vision for Nigeria’s future in which everyone can realise their fullest potential, and remain committed to providing platforms for expression, upliftment and inspiration,” says ART X Lagos founder and director Tokini Peterside. “Our fifth edition art fair will create a space where we can come together to contemplate society’s shared demands and expectations for tomorrow, and meditate on new ideas for how our global community might move forward as one… We will continue to work to amplify these important artists’ voices in the coming weeks, and champion the art and creativity that contributes tangibly to the movement for a New Nigeria.”

As a media partner for ART X Lagos, Nataal speaks to four of these brave photographers about their important contribution to End SARS and the story behind one of their images.






ANTHONY OBAYOMI


This photographer and filmmaker studied Visual Arts at the University of Lagos and won the LagosPhoto National Geographic Prize 2017. The following year he was selected for Electric South’s New Dimensions Lab in Cape Town and has gone on to receive the Taurus Prize for Visual Arts 2019/2020.






Q:

Please tell us about this image.

A:

It was shot on the 13 October when the End SARS protesters at Alausa (the Lagos State administrative seat of power and home to the Lagos State House of Assembly) marched to the nearby Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the highway that connects Lagos to the rest of South-Western Nigeria, and mounted a road block that dis