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Wangechi Mutu's Mystical Sirens & Serpents In London

Kenyan visual artist Wangechi Mutu's "Sirens & Serpants" exhibit, 'Nguva na Nyoka,' is on display at Victoria Miro in London.

Images via Victoria Miro Gallery


Last February Kenyan visual artist Wangechi Mutu gave Okayafrica a behind-the-scenes tour of her first solo museum exhibition in the US. Mutu returned this week with a new exhibit at the Victoria Miro Gallery in London (October 14th-December 19th). Nguva na Nyoka, which means "Sirens and Serpents" in Kiswahili, draws influence from a range of cultures and mythology, like East African coastal myths, specifically the nguvas (water women). In an interview conducted by Teju Cole for The Guardian, Mutu explains her interest in Nguvas and other coastal myths. “I am fascinated by these ocean-grown folks," she says. "On the coast, there’s all this cross-pollination of ideas. Someone thinks they saw something. One person’s madness is reiterated by another, and a story is born. The rumour becomes a substitute for news.”

Nguva na Nyoka, similar to Mutu's previous work, is influenced by cultural views of the female body and femininity, race, gender, and western pop culture. When we caught up with Mutu in February she described her interest and focus on the feminine. "Because I went to Catholic school I happen to have a deep love of a certain kind [of] imagery," she told us. "In some ways a lot of my singular female images are always a dedication to reworking that ultimately unfathomably impossible ideal of the Madonna."

Along with featuring Mutu's latest collage, sculptural and video work, the new exhibit also includes Nguva, a video which the Victoria Miro describes as "a multi-tiered performance featuring the mesmeric eponymous role: a mysterious acquatic character who emerges from the sea onto land and wanders, restless, vicious and curious." See a preview of Mutu's mystical art in the gallery above. Nguva na Nyoka is on display at Victoria Miro in London October 14th-December 19th. Watch Mutu's Guide To A Fantastic Journey At The Brooklyn Museum via Okayafrica TV below.

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Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

How You Can Help Nigeria’s #EndSARS Protests

We round up some ways you can support the movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

Widespread protests against Nigeria's notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are becoming more of a revolution. The movement is an outcry from youths demanding a general reform of the country, majorly characterized by poor governance, with a focus on the harassment and assaults committed by SARS. The movement has been raging through the city of Lagos for the past three weeks, as protesters home and abroad have taken to the streets in masses to express their keen dissatisfaction.

Hashtags like #EndSARS, #EndPoliceBrutality, and #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria have brandished across all social media platforms to amplify the voices of the youth people fighting back. These hashtags have, in turn, gained traction with the help of celebrities like singers Rihanna, Demi Lovato, and Beyoncé, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and many others. Nigerian stars, Falz, Runtown, Tiwa Savage, Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and many more also joined in the movement, as many of them took to the streets with placards.

To date, the peacefully protesting Nigerians' needs have not been met. With said needs not being satisfied as they demand justice for lives lost due to the brutal and corrupt practices of police officers.

We have rounded up some ways you can support this movement and its cause, no matter where you are in the world.

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