Photos

A New Online Exhibition Of Nigerian Photography

The Photographic Museum of Humanity launches an online exhibition of Nigerian photography curated by Azu Nwabogu.

All images courtesy of The Photographic Museum of Humanity


The Photographic Museum of Humanity, which launched in 2013 as the first "internet museum" dedicated to contemporary photography, has recently unveiled a new series dedicated to contemporary photography from Nigeria. Curated by LagosPhoto founder Azu Nwabogu, the virtual show offers insight into the work of a group of emerging Nigerian photographers interested in exploring identity, relationships, and cultural representation in modern society.

Nigerian Photography includes work by a group of four visual artists who, according to Nwabogu, represent the younger generation of his country's photography landscape. On display now through July 20th, the exhibition includes Uche Okpa Iroha's photo manipulation series The Plantation Boy, in which the artist digitally inserted himself into key scenes from The Godfather in order to explore representation, identity and media dynamics of race; self-portrait photographer Jenevieve Aken's "super femme fatale" character subverting the patriarchal male gaze in Masked Woman; Ima Mfon's The Nigerian Identity, featuring a uniform series of  black-and-white portraits devoid of cultural signifiers to suggest and reject different ideas of what it means to be Nigerian; and Lakin Ogunbanwo's The Human Condition, which makes use of the Lagos cityscape as a means of exploring the dynamics of personal relationships.

Nigerian Photography, curated by Azu Nwabogu, and featuring the work of Uche Okpa Iroha, Jenevieve Aken, Ima Mfon, and Lakin Ogunbanwo, is exhibiting via The Photographic Museum of Humanity until July 20th.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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