COMING SOON - - - MAY 2021: MY KARITSYE BY ERIC ‘1KEY’ NGANGARE ---  JUNE 2021: IZIBONGO BY PRINCESS ZINZI MHLONGO --- JULY 2021: Dúna Dúrà (The Negotiation) BY JUMOKE SANWO - - - AUGUST 2021: ART BLOOMS IN UNCERTAINTY BY OMNIA SHAWKAT - - - OCTOBER 2021: NEW ORDER FUTURE(S) 0F SPECULATIVE/ ARCHIVES BY ALI AL-ADAWY - - - NOVEMBER 2021: YASMIN BY ZOUBIDA MSEFFER





JUMOKE SANWO


PORTAL OF REIMAGINATION - DÚNA DÚRÀ 

July 2021


THE PLACE WHERE THE KING CHASED US TO
THE NIGHT MARKET AND HISTORY 
AYÉ LOJÀ, OJÀ L’AYÉ

THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE NIGHT MARKET
URBAN INFORMALITY - THE NIGHT MARKET
MARKET AND FORMATIONS
WE DON’T DIE, THE ARCHIVE IS EMBODIED
AYÉ LOJÀ, OJÀ L’AYÉ 
AYÉ LOJÀ, OJÀ L’AYÉ
















The Indian author Arundhati Roy described the Coronavirus pandemic as a portal or “a gateway between one world and the next” (2020). Looking at specificities of dissolution during the global lockdowns of 2020, there is an evident shift in how we live in the ‘Now’, confront realities, exchange knowledge, and engage physical and social spaces. The transpositions are also evident in how we confront the local and the traditional, vis-a-vis the global and the modern.

The ‘global south’ is widely deemed to exist within spaces of ‘the forgotten’, where daily realities of ‘abyssal absences’ of knowledge and memory directly impacts individual and collective identities in the context of local and global hegemonies. Chinua Achebe in his last novel, There was a Country, opined that artists are connected to their community, “not just the community of humans, but community of the ancestors, the animal world, of trees…,” (2012). Achebe suggests that artists exist within liminal zones, where everything is part of a larger whole. Artistic mediums in turn channel abandoned thought and knowledge systems within the context of a re-Imagination. Art creates points of entry into past histories and alternative knowledge systems within the phenomenology of the ‘Now’. Art and cultural production, as a medium, therefore necessitates a reflection on embodied and spatial archives. These productions hold a potential of creating spaces of encounters, and the re-experiencing of a society's abyssal line: the side of ‘non-existence’, shifting the mind and body from ‘place’, associated with the world of the past, to ‘space’, which is synonymous with the world of the present and future.

On the 9th of June 2021, we created a space for re- Imagination called Dúna Dúrà’, at the Obalende Ijeh Oluwaloseyi night market, located between the Obalende transportation hub and the Ikoyi Cemetery on Lagos Island in the city of Lagos Nigeria. The site specific re-Imagination explored embodied and spatial memory, through an evening of performative encounters enabled by performance artists, selected interviewees, traders and passersby. The evening began with what Aremo Gemini termed the ‘Sermon from the Dead’, Ejigbede, a spontaneous poetry performance and ‘introspection into the constant visits and intercessions of the ancestors, through dreams, daydreams, spectacular events, other nature beings like wildlife, the aquatics, whirlwind, storms ‘.  Ejigbede by Yusuf Alabi Balogun (alias Aremo Gemini), in turn prepared the space for multimedia artist Jelili Atiku’s Ẹ̀mí l'ọlọ́ọjà ara, a channeling and embodying the spirits of the guiding deities of the market Èṣù (preeminent primordial divinity) and Aje (deity of wealth and patroness of trade and economic prosperity). The deities were activated through a call by Atiku, to intercede in acts of remembering and forgetting. Atiku’s ‘Gbanjo Gbanjo’, a call for bargaining, opened up a space for the renegotiation of histories between the global North and South.

Atiku and Gemini’s role as mediums, between the corporeal and incorporeal world, transformed the market into a mystical space with many entry points; an overlapping of the world of collective and individual ancestors, using the daily rituals within the night marketplace as a starting point. The performance engaged acts of remembrance and forgetting, digging into cultural and ancestral memories, through a constant dialogue between the performer, the space and the audience. 

The interviewees present at the market on the night of the 9th of June 2021, namely Adeboye Martins, Oludamola Adebowale, Adun Okupe PhD.Sola Akintunde, Idris Adewale(Baba Ojá ), Fatimoh Balogun, provided us with an epilogue. These conversations followed on from the prologue set in motion through conversations the day prior, with Prof. Moyo Okediji,Steven Ajadi, Dr.Taibat Lawanson and Dr. Monsuru Olalekan Muritala on zoom, all led by Obasola Bamigbola.

Dúna Dúrà, a site specific introspection through performance, created an opportunity to engage what Henri Lefebvre termed the ‘third space’, a spatial and temporal site, which confronts the notion of archives, of histories, its dislocation, and interdepencies. Dúna Dúrà asks for relooking and re-engaging the methodologies underpinning archives, as a practice central to decolonizing the archives of the future.

- Jumoke Sanwo
Storyteller|Curator|Cultural Producer
July 2021




Jumoke Sanwo is a storyteller, cultural interlocutor, and creative director of Revolving Art Incubator. She works primarily in photography, video art, and extended reality (XR), and her work engages the realities and complexities of spatiality in postcolonial societies. She lives and works out of Lagos, Nigeria.

︎: @jumokesanwo
︎: @jumokesanwo




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The Archive of Forgetfulness is funded by the Goethe-Institut.