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Emeka Okereke:
I Wonder As I Wander: On Akinbode Akinbiyi

Tuesday, October 27th, 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 1st, 6:00 pm
in presence of filmmaker Emeka Okereke

Tuesday, October 27th, 7:30 pm

I Wonder As I Wander: On Akinbode Akinbiyi

2019–20, 28 min, directed by Emeka Okereke

© Emeka Okereke

In the short film “I Wonder As I Wander” (2019–20) directed by Emeka Okereke, two Berlin-based Nigerian photographers of different generations engage in a filmic dialogue that transpires between Berlin and Bamako. It captures Akinbode Akinbiyi’s decades long pursuit of interrelating photographic processes with the physical and mental rigor of wandering. This weaving of sequences provides a glimpse into essential acts of daily observation, corporeal movement, urban noise and study of light. While Akinbiyi closely identifies with sacred philosophies of Yorubaland in connection to rhythm, symmetry and balance, we might also consider in parallel the words of Nigerian novelist, poet and critic Chinua Achebe who has noted, “Among the Igbo the art of conversation is regarded very highly, and proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.”

Akinbiyi’s photographs are conversation pieces, extending a dialogue between the viewer and the viewed.

For this film, Emeka Okereke draws on a conversation that was first recorded with Akinbiyi as part of his podcast program NKATA.”

This film is an E.O Multimedia Production; supported by Gropius Bau Berlin as part of Akinbode Akinbiyi’s comprehensive solo exhibition “Six Songs, Swirling Gracefully in The Taut Air”, 6 Feb – 17 May, 2020.

Text: © Natasha Ginwala, Curator of “Six Songs, Swirling Gracefully in The Taut Air”.

After the screening conversation with filmmaker Emeka Okereke.

Sunday, November 1st, 6:00 pm

I Wonder As I Wander: On Akinbode Akinbiyi

(description above)


The Parliament

2014, 7:55 min, directed by Emeka Okereke

© Emeka Okereke

The Parliament is a short film that gives a glimpse of the lifeworlds of immigrants in Bijlmer, a suburb in the South East of Amsterdam. This suburb is known to harbour immigrants of about 140 nationalities from all over the world. Indeed, it is a microcosm of the attempts made by immigrants dealing with the incompatibilities of their adopted culture, to find solace, support and hope in each other. It is coming together to let out the steam, and to bath in bouts of nostalgia. The future is cloudy, and life is a constant struggle to fit in. Stories are lived, shredded and buried in rubbles. And identity blurs - limbo.

The Parliament is a barber’s shop turned space of conviviality and impromptu conversations.

After the screening conversation with filmmaker Emeka Okereke.

© Robert Rieger

Emeka Okereke is a Nigerian visual artist and writer, filmmaker and DJ who lives and works between Lagos and Berlin, moving from one to the other on a frequent basis. A past member of the renowned Nigerian photography collective Depth of Field (DOF), he holds a bachelor’s/master’s degree from the Ecole Nationale supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris and has exhibited in biennales and art festivals in cities across the world, notably Lagos, Bamako, Cape Town, London, Berlin, Bayreuth, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Brussels, Johannesburg, New York, Washington, Barcelona, Seville, Madrid and Paris.

In 2009, Okereke founded The Invisible Borders Trans-African Organisation, a collective of artists whose projects include the Invisible Borders Trans-African Road Trip and The Trans-African, a journal of African arts and visual culture. He is the founders and host of Nkata Podcast Station.

In 2015, his work was exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale, in the context of an installation titled A Trans-African Worldspace. Okereke is the founder and artistic director of Invisible Borders Trans-African Project, an artist-led initiative that addresses gaps and misconceptions posed by frontiers dividing the 54 countries of the African continent.

Okereke’s work oscillates between diverse mediums. He employs photography, video, poetry and performative interventions in the exploration of one over-arching theme: that of borders.

In 2018, he was awarded Chevalier De l’Ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) from the French Government, in recognition of his significant contributions to the arts in Africa and Europe.