Update from Qudus' blog

Oct 8, 2010

A body in exile, a head at home.

Friends all.

As you all know i have been away from Nigeria since December 2009 with the pretext to create my latest work, MY EXILE IS IN MY HEAD. Many people have asked me what this title has to do with my dance? It is simple, well in my own rationality, there is no exile without a prior movement or emigration, but the concept of exile is not about relocation or departure, the only thing that is real is the tragedy that it constantly brings to one's existence. With time i have realized that i could stage a divorce with Nigeria, i could try to work out ways of getting away from these pertinent questions, but certainly they won't get away from me.

While in the circus school in Chalons en champagne, I thought I was taking my time to sort out strategies to go back with, trying to resolve my many questions about home and exile, about belonging and non belonging, about art and Africa. And I thought I had mastered them, I mean yes I did intellectually, but it is only a soldier who survived a war who can boast that his charms were potent, getting on ground, right in Lagos between August and December 2009 the story was a totally different matter, I lived a very sadistic experience like I never did in my life, the refusal was strong, the level of corruption was beyond an intellectual matter, it goes beyond article and wholly not worthy of any meaningful analysis at that time.

This kind of corruption in my opinion is not something one could pin down to wrestle, and sincerely I'm just a young spoilt kid who got ideas, I don't want to spend my entire lifetime fighting mirage, all I want for myself now is to just dance and structure a moral existence that will be suitable for myself and my household through this path. Through dance, i am sure to escape the burden of circumstance, even the temptation of bitterness and recrimination, and attempt to repossess fragments of that which is lost, through dance i could envision a new world around this world that crushes me.

I address you guys today, because I am certain that only one’s kinsmen can truly scratch one’s back, I think there are still some healthy minds to share with, I admire your courage in your different realms and the will to hold on, yes I really do, It might seem like I'm a coward, like the man is dying in me, but when a rat mocks the cat, it is certain that there is a hole nearby. It was mere sincerity with myself that spoke to my legs. I need a while to regain that energy, but be sure that I've never for one day lost consciousness, I’ve done nothing unworthy of philosophy. No... no, don't think I'm giving in to the Frenchness of this game. Oh fucking no.

I’ve got a body in exile, but a head at home.

My artistic doings will not only be found in my ‘works’, but in my entire life, in my ethical conscience, in my relationship with history and all the lies therein. The leitmotiv of all my preoccupation – whether in my dance, my articles, my blogs or the sort of conversations that agitate me – circulates around the impact that the mechanism of power, ideology and political discourse may have on my life, my choices and behavior. The potentiality of my body and its insurmountable memory and attributes, however become my principal device for creating my ideal world; it will become a foundational material for metaphor and symbols. My identity will be inscribed in and on my body. The way it is presented and represented, used, clothed and decorated, preserved and the practices that shape, expose or restrict it will reflect my affiliation to a particular explanation of ethics and personal preference, this will affect my sense of fashion and ideals of beauty.

This body is my means of social interaction and engagement with profound implications for development, this body at the end becomes the only obsession, I have to bring unto the podium of ideas and discourses of art and humanity. My experience of exile can only be written on my body, inscribe in blood and ruptured pattern, whenever there comes a need to express my thoughts and feeling of exile, my body fluid increase intensity, a burden of guilt places me beneath a Nigerian flag, made of the labor, tears, sweat and blood of our heroes past, and it once again evokes desperation for self determination.

As I seek my exile in Paris. France stands as a refuge for me, but certainly not a consolation, what I lost is home and I know what home looks like because I once knew it, perhaps man will no longer be the same, perhaps I'll till the end of my life be in search of that home that I lost in Nigeria. And where will that be? Maybe Nigeria again, maybe France, maybe Brazil. I don't know but for now I'm a vagabond who chants at the border of different cultures, the feeling of being a "stranger" is very nourishing to my art presently.

By the time you read to this point, my exile will be heading to Brazil for a Brazialian tour of MY EXILE IS IN MY HEAD. Going from Campinas to Londrinas to Joâo Pessoa and Recife, to be Back to Paris by the end of October. We shall then be heading to Bamako - Mali, between 28th October till the 5th of November for the 8th edition of the African and Indian Ocean choreographic encounters (which is like the Nations cup for dance professionals in the African world).

Friends all i, along with my able team will need a lot of energy from you to completely transform this supposedly tragedy into Money :) So wish us well.

Peace to you all.

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