As the days draw nearer, we are getting incredibly excited to hit the Road. This year’s Invisible Borders Road Trip – which also happens to be the 6th edition – will focus on Nigeria. Seven artists (photographers, writers, film makers) and two administrators have confirmed their participation. Why Nigeria? You may ask. The answer can be found first in the experiences garnered over the course of travelling through Africa for half a decade: The challenges of diversity go neck deep beyond the borders between countries. As a matter of fact, the consequences of colonial interferences which manifested artificial borders began by harnessing the divisive tendencies between tribes and peoples living side by side centuries before the advent of Occidental encroachment.
Our aim therefore is to delve into the crevices of Nigeria. Being an important African country in size, population and economy, Nigeria is in many ways a microcosm of the African challenge. There is surely no artistic intervention that would return Nigeria to a what it could have been before the advent of her amalgamation, but with this project we hope to explore the void made evident by the miscommunication between history and present day Nigeria. Over the years, this void has become a site where the adverse effects of our ignorance plays itself out. We are therefore of the mindset that while we strive with our gaze to the future, hoping for progress, we cannot do so in detachment from history because history is the ground under our feet.
Hundred years after the amalgamation of Nigeria and 55 years after its independence, it is not far-fetched to insist that history is in fact contemporary. The artists of the road trip will travel across 14 states, making about 15 stops in cities scattered across all the regions of the country. What is foremost is the encounters: we shall meet, converse, dine, play and live with Nigerians from all works of life, with hopes that the works produced eventually will be precipitates of those encounters. The physicality of the geographical enclave is equally of importance – a space, an environment is always a reflection of the people therein.
In the course of the 46 days, we shall share snippets of our everyday stories on this blog in the form of photographs, videos, written texts and audio recordings. All things being equal, there will be posts at intervals of two days. Joins us on the journey by subscribing. Share your thoughts with us and show some love (or disappointment) by engaging with the articles: like, comment and share!
See you on the Road!
Cover image: Tom Saater