Photos

Nigerian Visual Artist Uche Okpa-Iroha Inserts Himself Into 'The Godfather'

Nigerian visual artist Uche Okpa-Iroha digitally inserts himself into stills from 'The Godfather' for 'The Plantation Boy' photoproject.

The Plantation Boy by Nigerian photographer and visual artist Uche Okpa-Iroha, which we spotted via the Guardian, is a photo manipulation series depicting the digital insertion of the artist into key scenes from Francis Ford Coppola's seminal gangster film The Godfather. Okpa-Iroha created the conceptual series in 2012 with the intention of paying tribute to The Godfather's 40th anniversary while questioning the film's racial myopia and addressing on a larger scale issues of identity and representation within mass media. Though his Plantation Boy character primarily exists on the fringes of the Corleone family in each scene, Okpa-Iroha seamlessly inhabits a number of different roles alongside the original cast. As bartender, well-wisher, wedding guest and even friend, the Plantation Boy's presence bears witness to the possibilities of diverse casting and the overwhelming whiteness of classic cinema. As the artist himself puts it:


"With The Plantation Boy series, I am looking inwards to explore, conceptually, other forms of representation and identity.  I am my own subject here (in the space of an already available conversation of The Godfather movie), and by engaging the media dynamics of race, I try to look into the sequences of past events (social or historical) and becoming part of an already established or known conversation and actions. The series is multilayered, but its core theme borders on what I will refer to as “the subjective representation of the presence of an omission,” the representation of a deviant culture or race that was not originally there. The whole process creates an illusion. There is also a new dialogue from the simple act of intrusion and new scenes are instigated."

The award-winning multidisciplinary artist lives and works in Nigeria and has had his work on display in Nigeria, New York, Paris and Berlin. Okpa-Iroha, who was born in 1972 (the same year The Godfather was released), adopted photography as a medium of artistic expression in 2005 and plans to carry out his digital wizardry on the remaining films in The Godfather franchise as well as Steven Spielberg's Amistad. Click through the gallery above for a sampling of Uche Okpa-Iroha's photo manipulation in The Plantation Boy.

H/T The Guardian

Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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