press release

CCA, Lagos is pleased to present On Independence and the Ambivalence of Promise, a year-long programme that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Independence of seventeen African countries including Nigeria. The intellectual and conceptual underpinning of the project questions the limits of postcolonial critical thinking and ideas. Furthermore, it considers dreams, realities and possibilities for full independence that have engaged people and communities across languages, cultures and regions. The project attempts to engender new methods of reflecting on the economic, cultural and socio-political concerns of the present as well as questioning one's relationship to the larger totality. This provides a platform on which artists and cultural practitioners can explore new ways of engaging and articulating the conditions of our contemporaneity.

Programme Under the principle theme of On Independence and the Ambivalence of Promise, CCA, Lagos starts this landmark year with an ambitious international art photography residency programme that explores the ever-evolving aesthetic, conceptual and technical potential of art photography. Over an intensive 30-day period, the residency deemphasizes hierarchy in order to promote a profound level of dialogue and exchange among its participants. Artists will take part in lectures, seminars, portfolio reviews, and group critiques – in addition to pursuing independent and collaborative artistic projects.

Over the course of thirty days the residency will feature experienced local and international artists, critics, and curators including: Akinbode Akinbiyi (Nigeria/Germany); Miriam Backström (Sweden); Giovanni Carmini (Switzerland); Tam Fiofori (Nigeria); Marja Helander (Finland); Jide Adeniyi Jones (Nigeria); Heta Kuchka (Finland); Simon Njami (Cameroon); Senam Okudzeto (Ghana/Switzerland); Phillipe Pirotte (Belgium/Switzerland); Rosangela Renno (Brazil); Carrie Schneider (USA); Mats Stjernstedt (Sweden); Daniella Wennberg (Norway).

Among the participating artists are Aderemi Adegbite, Nduwhite Ahanonu, Lucy Azubuike, Ndidi Dike, Chidinma Nnorom, Richardson Ovbiebo, Adeniyi Odeleye, Folarin Shasanya and Uche Okpa-Iroha, William West from Nigeria; and their counterparts Landry Mbassi (Cameroon), Sabelo Mlangeni (South Africa) and Mauro Pinto (Mozambique).

Project conceived and developed for the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos by Aura Seikkula, independent curator, Helsinki, and Bisi Silva, director/curator, CCA, Lagos Project Co-ordinated by Antawan I. Byrd, 09-10 US Fulbright Fellow/curatorial assistant, CCA, Lagos

CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, LAGOS is an independent non-profit visual art organisation founded in December 2007 to provide a platform for the development, presentation, and discussion of contemporary visual art and culture. CCA, Lagos supports the intellectual and critical development of different art and cultural practices through talks, seminars, publications, workshops and exhibitions. In addition it encourages and promotes the professionalisation of artistic and curatorial practices in Nigeria and West Africa by collaborating with national and international artists, curators, writers, theorists and organizations.

CCA, Lagos gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Nordic Culture Point, the Finnish Fund for Art Exchange, and AECID through the Embassy of Spain in Nigeria. Further support from Ministry of Culture, Brazil, ProHelvetia, Office for Contemporary Art Norway, the Kunsthalle Bern, the Swedish Institute and the Public Affairs Department of the US Embassy, Lagos, Nigeria. In partnership with PictureWorksExtra, Nigeria and FrameshopExtra, Nigeria.