Finalising plans for the curation of ‘It’s Yours’ gallery in the exhibition, Resist! The Art of Resistance at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Cologne, Germany which opens in January 2021. This exhibition opens with the inspiring poem by Christie Akumabor on Benin. It also features the rap music video, 1897, of Monday Midnite (Osaigbovo Agbonze) shot in front of Buckingham Palace in London, about the same time I was working on the Benin1897.com exhibition; Cartoons by Jimoh Ganiyu; Delicate line drawings by Nwakuso Edozien whose works raise the question of what defines the past and future and the notion of tradition and modernity?; Benin Playing Cards by Osaze Amadasun; Alao Lukman’s embossed metal works that continually engage with Benin History; Images from the Benin 1897.com exhibition (2010), the first exhibition in Nigeria solely dedicated to interrogating issues relating to contested Benin patrimony; The Whose Centenary? with images of performances of Jelili Atiku, Wura Ogunji, and Elizabeth Olowu; paintings of Victor Ehikhamenor, Jude Anogwih, Taye Idahor, and other artists involved in this intervention held in Igun Street in 2014. The Whose Centenary? collaborative project presents a model for the celebration of art as a living heritage- where community participation, engendered by a sense of belonging and ownership, is key.
Image: Looted Benin Ivory tusk with a metal rim, In the collection of the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Cologne, Germany