This course looks at how we might reconsider mutual relationships in a world encumbered with rapidly growing sentiments toward nationalism and reinforcement of borders, while it continuously fights back the indispensability of an interconnected world.
I will attempt, as much as possible, to open the horizon beyond the enclosure of European, Western thinking and to draw attention to some of the post-colonial perspectives. The aim of the course will be to encourage students to use photography as a tool of inquiry in the exploration of selfhood at the cross-point between the subjective and the collective. It is expected that the programme would initiate a frame that allows for the intersection of different cultural realities. The two-week course will kick off with the reading of selected texts. This will encourage a thought-frame within which all learning and work will take place. Students should envisage collaborative activities that allow for substantial interaction and intersection of subjectivities. Although this is a photography class, students are encouraged to explore the possibilities of a multi-media approach involving text, video
andsound. The programme will culminate in the production of one or more bodies of work which will be the subject of discussion during a wrapping-up portfolio review session.
More infomation: http://www.summeracademy.at/en/kurse/eine-leere-erforschen/
Wednesday April 18th at 7pm
COSMOCIDES: ART(S), VIOLENCE, 21st CENTURY
A conversation between the artist Emeka Okereke, Dominique Malaquais and Lionel Manga.
The conversation at Kadist will start with a talk by Emeka Okereke, who will address different types of violence – “passive”, “daily”, “institutional” – in relation with his personal work, undertaken between Lagos, Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris, and with the collective Invisibles Borders project, of which he is the founder and director.
For this evening, the seminar “Something You Should Know : Artists and Producers Today”, directed by Patricia Falguières, Elisabeth Lebovici and Natasa Petresin-Bachelez, will be delocalizing to Kadist, in the context of a series of presentations proposed by Dominique Malaquais and Lionel Manga, titled “Cosmocides: Art(s), Violence, 21st Century”.
For more information visit: kadist.org
From October 16 – 23, Emeka Okereke was a guest-lecturer at the San Francisco session of the MFA Photography Program of Hartford School of Art.
The limited residency MFA in Photography at the Hartford Art School is an innovative program designed for both mature individuals with established experience in the field as well as recent graduates who wish to further their own practice and acquire an MFA degree in order to facilitate their professional credentials as artists and educators. It differentiates itself from existing programs in that the new program is an International limited-residency program.
The program couples intensive on-campus sessions during the summer with a travel component in the spring and fall. The three summer sessions meet at the University of Hartford for two-weeks, during which students and faculty interact inside and outside the classroom. The two fall and two spring sessions meet at off-site locations (New York City, Berlin, and other sites) for seven-to-ten days. In the time between classroom sessions, students complete course assignments and maintain regular contact with their Thesis Advisor. The total time to the MFA is twenty-five months, of which only ten to twelve weeks are spent away from your studio.
First time with the students was in Berlin (as a visiting artist) in May. The San Francisco session focused mainly on portfolio reviews and crit sessions, as well as one on one conversations with the students. For more infomation about the program, visit: www.harfordmfa.org
Invisible Borders is taking part in COSMOPOLIS #1: COLLECTIVE INTELLEGENCE at the National Musuem of Modern Arts Paris, also known as Georges Pompidou Centre.
From 18 October to 17 December, The Centre Pompidou is presenting the first edition of Cosmopolis: a new type of event dedicated to artistic practices that combine research and expertise-sharing. This platform, consisting of exhibitions, talks, performances and conversations, puts the spotlight on these new practices and creates conditions for exploring the social, urban and political questions they raise. Cosmopolis gives visibility to the various places where contemporary art flourishes, and to approaches and experiments concerning cultural translation, rooted in a local context but also part of an international network.
“Cosmopolis #1: Collective Intelligence” presents approximately fifteen collectives engaging with subjects that range from collectivism and cultural translation to the transmission of knowledge, fromfood ethics and ecology to history and its fictions.
The Invisible Borders Exhibition will feature:
- 80 minutes film of the Invisible Borders Road Trips
- Collage wall of images and texts drawn from photographs depicting the process of the Trans-African Road Trips, and newly created texts by selected writer-participants of the road trip.
- Chapbooks from the writers of Borders Within Trans-Nigerian Road Trip 2016.
Contributing artists of Invisible Borders:
Ala Kheir, Amaize Ojeikere, Charles Okereke, Emmanuel Iduma, Emeka Okereke, Jide Odukoya, Novo Isioro, Tom Saater, Yinka Elujoba, Uche Okonkwo.
Emeka Okereke is Artistic Director of Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographers Organisation.
More information: www.invisible-borders.com
Organized by Olu Oguibe, with Faith Adiele, Phillip U. Effiong, Okey Ndibe, Eddie Iroh, Vivian Ogbonna, Obiageli Okigbo, E.C.Osondu, Emeka Okereke
Fifty years ago, in 1967, a bitter civil war broke out in the newly independent West African nation of Nigeria, a war that would create one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of the twentieth century. Lasting over thirty months, the Biafran War claimed an estimated three million lives, mostly children who died due to malnutrition and starvation after Nigeria imposed a global blockade on Biafrans, who were demanding a secure homeland. The previous year, tens of thousands of Biafrans had been murdered in waves of ethnic cleansing pogroms in different parts of Nigeria. This forced an estimated two million survivors to flee back to their ancestral homeland in then Eastern Nigeria, in search of a safe haven. The ensuing humanitarian crisis and continued violence against this population eventually led them to declare independence from Nigeria, upon which Nigeria declared war on the breakaway nation.
The death and carnage in Biafra caused global outrage. So did the collusion of global powers, especially Britain and the Soviet Union, in suppressing the Biafrans and their struggle for survival. In 1968, it was estimated that nearly 6,000 Biafrans were dying daily, most of them starving children. Photographs of Biafra’s malnourished children with their bloated bellies adorned the covers of news magazines and evening television news programs worldwide. John Lennon returned his knighthood to the Queen in protest, and Jean-Paul Sartre described Biafra as the conscience of the twentieth century. Even Winston Churchill, grandson of the British prime minister, wrote a series of newspaper columns deploring the situation in Biafra. Around the world students staged protests, sit-ins at embassies, and even a hunger strike in Norway. On May 29, 1969, Bruce Mayrock, a twenty-year old student of Columbia University in New York set himself on fire in front of the United Nations to protest Secretary General U Thant’s failure to take measures to stop the war of genocide against Biafra. Mayrock died the following day. Musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Joan Baez held concerts to raise awareness and generate relief aid for Biafra. A group of young French medics who volunteered in Biafra would go on to found the charity, Doctors without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières) in response to the human suffering that they witnessed there.
For two days this summer, June 30–July 1, 2017, child survivors from the Biafran War gather for the first time in Athens as part of documenta 14 to share their stories of living through the monumental tragedies and traumas of conflict, mass displacement, and separation from family as well as bereavement, famine, and hunger. They will also share stories of survival, which are indebted to the resilience of the human spirit and the humanitarian intervention of people around the world who sent relief aid to Biafra or opened their doors to Biafra’s refugee children.
Biafra is relevant today, not only because it represented the nearly impossible struggle of a persecuted people in their fight for self-determination and the establishment of a safe homeland, but also because the subsequent humanitarian disaster is mirrored in the plight of refugees fleeing similar crises in Syria and the Middle East today and their attempt to find safety in Europe and other parts of the world. The survivor testimonies of Biafra’s children reiterate the human cost of conflict. Alone the presence and the survival of these women and men, some of who now have children of their own, underline how humanitarian intervention can help save generations and preserve nations.
The event has been organized by Olu Oguibe, one of the child survivors, whose archival meditation on the war, Biafra Time Capsule, is on display at the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) through July 16, 2017.
For More information, see: The Parliament of Bodies: Biafra's Children: A survivors' Gathering
This day of encounters and talks entitled 'Inhabiting the Border' is part of the fair's
programmelinked to Africa*. Open to one and all, ‘Inhabiting the Border’, is based on an idea by Marie-Ann Yemsi. It aims to foster meetings and exchanges with the key players and cultural producers who are committed to promoting contemporary artists from the African continent and the diaspora. Comprising 4 round tables, it brings together artists, exhibition curators, institutional representatives, collectorsand thinkers, all of whom are working in various ways to reflect upon, construct and elaborate different outlooks and new perspectives on the contemporary artistic production of the African continent. Organisedby Art Paris Art Fair with the support of the Institut Français, this conference day is hosted by La Colonie, an independent space for free thinkers that was founded by artist Kader Attia.
Emeka Okereke will be speaking
inthe following panels:
10am - 11:30am: Contemporary African art… to what end?
The visibility and recognition of contemporary African artists
ison the rise, with the artists themselves taking an active role, as well as being the witnesses of this evolution. Their wish is that this affiliation with the African continent, which is often a complex one, no longer just comes down to an ‘original’ and simplistic identity, one that is instrumentalized to boot. What is the place of these artists in the art world today and in the future? Moderator :Simon Njami, Philosopher, Writer, Exhibitions Curator
Joël Andrianomearisoa, Artist
Emo de Medeiros, Artist
Katia Kameli, Artist
Myriam Mihindou, Artist
Emeka Okereke, Artist, Writer,
Founderand Artistic Director of Invisible Borders - The trans-African Project. 4:45pm- 6:15pm: Inhabiting borders: what are the ‘geo-aesthetic’ perspectives?
How can one
endeavourto change the focus of ideas and imagination in order to find another way of inhabiting borders? According to Edouard Glissant, one of the functions of writing is to ensure that there is a coming together of those places where the world is envisaged. Guest authors, thinkers and culture professionals explore crucial aesthetic and ethical domains and, in so doing, find themselves at the heart of current debate on the meaning of art and culture and their potential in terms of changing imagination and knowledge. What is the current state of play? What remains to be done and what challenges await in the near future? Moderator :Dominique Malaquais, Art historian and Political scientist, Researcher at the Center for African World Studies (IMAF / CNRS)
Kisukidi, Philosopher, Conference Lecturer and Programme Director at the International College of Philosophy
Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Filmmaker, Author and Film Producer
Emeka Okereke, Artist, Writer,
Founderand Artistic Director of Invisible Borders - The Trans-African Project.
* This first sentence has been modified from its original version as published on the website of the Paris Art Fair, to exclude the term "Africa Guest of Honour" as used by the
organisersof the Fair. Emeka Okereke has made it clear from the onset that this notion of Africa being a "Guest of Honour" in a Paris Art Fair is highly problematic. This invariably informed his decision to be part of the talks at La Colonie, which although organisedby the Art Fair, happens outside its central premises. Here, Okereke hopes for a platform and setting where productive conversations can be had amongst key players and audience sensitive to Africa's place and relationship with the rest of the world, and to further converse the agency of Africans in moving the notion of 'Africa' forward beyond narratives or positionings of otherness and limiting definitions.
To see the full program information as published by the Art Fair, click here
History: a concept of the past or a call for intervention? Does it invoke a glance at a fixed reality or an irreversible stream of never-ending new experiences? Does the impossibility of absolute neutrality and objectivity force us to constantly correct and rewrite history anew?
The group exhibition history ASAP presents seven points of view that intervene, edit and alternate timely events and stories, thereby legitimizing them as a new set of narratives.
Promised Land symposium – Saturday 3 December – Central Saint Martins. Culture and Conflict CC.
The next event in our Promised Land programme, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut London, is a one-day symposium on Saturday 3 December at Central Saint Martins in London. This symposium provides a platform for artists, curators, writers, intellectuals and experts to address the promise of Europe as a place of human rights, security and prosperity; and the Europe of borders, refugee camps, populism, and heightened nationalism.
The event will include artist presentations, discussions and screenings of artists’ films. Confirmed speakers include Ulrike Guerot, Berlin’s European School of Governance; artist Tobias Zielony whose several projects addressing refugees in Germany culminated in a major installation at the German pavilion in Venice in 2015; Emeka Okereke, artist and initiator of Invisible Borders, Nigeria; Nanna Heidenreich, Professor of Digital Narratives at the International Film School, Cologne; artist Phoebe Boswell whose work is anchored in an exploration of ‘home’; Giacomo Orsini, conducting research into borders at the University of Essex; and artist Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen. The day will begin with Christoph Schlingensief’s film, Foreigners Out! (2002); and include a new work commissioned for this programme, Quicksand, by Nikolaj Skyum Bendix Larsen; and in the evening Philip Scheffner’s Havarie (2016).
For more information, visit: http://www.cultureandconflict.org.uk
Emeka Okereke is one of the 8 nominees for the second edition of the Elysee Museum "Prix Elysée". For more information visit: www.prixelysee.ch
Discover Emeka Okereke's Project titled "As We Recede" which he will be working on with the nominee's production grant: http://prixelysee.ch/nomine/emeka-okereke/
Keep checking for updates on the progress of Emeka Okereke's project.