Art Moves Africa: the Mobility Fund of Artists & Cultural Operators within Africa

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Grantee on the Road: Jelili Atiku

Today, AMA grantee Jelili Olorunfunmi Atiku is traveling from Lagos (Nigeria) to Harare (Zimbabwe) to attend the fourth edition of the Protest Arts International Festival (October 23-28). Following the festival, he will travel to Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) to facilitate a performance workshop titled “Our Bodies Do” (October 29-31).

Born in 1968 in Lagos and trained at the Ahmadu Bello University (Zaria, Nigeria), Jelili is a multimedia artist who is highly committed to human rights and social justice causes. Working predominantly in the media of sculpture and performance (video and live art), he aims to deepen his viewers’ understanding of what he sees as the prevailing global concerns of our present day and age. He is especially interested in the psychosocial and emotional effects of violence, war, poverty, corruption, and climate change. His performance projects have been showcased internationally at exhibitions and festivals, as well as in public spaces.

Jelili will perform at the Protest Arts International Festival in collaboration with several Zimbabwean artists, including Fisani Nkono. This year, the theme of the festival is “Protest Arts, Culture and Democracy: Imagining and inventing the future.” Organized by Savanna Trust in collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe, its aim is to create a venue for artistic projects that hold a concern for the fundamental questions of human existence, especially freedom and dignity. In Jelili’s words, the core purpose of his performance is “to further the interest in performance practice in the country and to contribute to the agitation of human freedom in the world.”

In Bulawayo, Jelili will collaborate with German artist Denis to facilitate an interactive three-day workshop for ten local artists. The aim of the workshop will be to explore the concept of human bodies interacting with physical space, as a means of generating a broader critical discourse on the psychic experience of contemporary global transformation. The works that emerge from the workshop will be exhibited at the upcoming Performance Biennale, which will be held in Harare in 2013.

AMA is looking forward to receiving news from Jelili on his experiences in Zimbabwe!