Update from Qudus' blog

Apr 16, 2011

CHANGE - Towards a national life.

The path to a national life of any nation - as we know it in this 21st century - is a process which infuse a new rhythm, specific to a new generation of men and women, with a new language and a new humanity. For the majority of those who are attentive to the process that led to where we are as a nation, can surmise that after 50 years of attempting nationhood through decolonisation, from post-colonization, to dictatorship and eventually democracy; the situation of the Nigerian had slightly shifted from a state of being colonised to being endlessly neocolonised in various disguise, the expolitation has intensified but now justified by capitalizing on two or three slogans. These nouveau riche who disguise as leaders, demands a colossal effort from us in the name of national interest, without plans to improve our conditions. Major sums, however, were invested for the sake of wide roads, prestige cars, villas and all those loud goods required to build a new elite class living hundred times superior to the minimum wage.

50 years after our so called independence, these elite class at the corridors of power, who cruches the masses to a non-essential state, still utilizes the agressiveness of its class to grab our support for a change, in which even they don't believe. What is really misleading is that, this elite class is aware that the human and social sciences have accustomed us to see the figurine of a righteous man behind every social and moral event, just like Christianity taught us to see the eye of the lord looking down upon us. This lot can easily infiltrate and create a look alike of what they are not, they can readily use the secret knowledge of the books, of the arts, of the media and clever ideas to manipulate and claim to be on the side of truth and change. For them, the masses remains a bunch of "dehumanised things" that needed to be kept in order and be organised. We the "things" ruled upon become human only through the process of liberation. That is the natural process of new men, new nation and new life.

Times of election is generally bracketed by hopes, aspirations and violence. Change in political and national life - whatever the preferred expression for political correctness is - is always a violent event, because it is simply an absolute substitution of one "species" of mankind by another, that will go as far as establishing an entirely new nation, with a redefined diplomatic relations and economic and political orientation. The need for this change must exist in a raw, repressed and reckless state in the consciousness of the people. But the eventuality of such a change is a terrifying future in the consciousness of other "species" of men and women who sees nothing wrong in the status quo. When a group of minor men and women, however, set out to attempt a change of a certain order of things, which cannot be accomplished by the wave of a magic wind or a gentleman's agreement - Hence, the rise of the OPPOSITION - They are seen as radicals or tagged "angry people". This wind of change in our national life can only be significant when it is clamored for, desired and demanded by the majority, when the opposition is a majority and the majority opposes the status quo.

I am certain that each generation has its peculiar mission, to be realized under its own circumstances, fulfil it or betray it in relative blurriness. The values which we live by are the values that led us "here" in the first place, the moral negligence and ideological barrenness which led us to this point are still seen as continuing in the identity of this nation, and since this national identity has not changed, has undergo no revolutionary purge either in its guts or at the head. therefore, for a new national life to be attained, our efforts must be made of fragments, and not as a whole body, which signifies that, what we might possibly think to be the end, might in fact the beginning, we cannot begin to build a Utopia, until we have been able to control the damage by first discovering its source, this discovery must sink us down to the roots, to demolish and rehabilitate the foundations of thoughts and actions responsible for such damage, then begin to re-create. Our collective break/down will eventually result to our collective break/through, only in this way does every individual share in the holy mess and understands the real purpose and value of such a change towards a genuine national life.

(c) Qudus Onikeku.


October 13, 2010.


Apr 10, 2011

Yinka Shonibare speaks my mind

Yinka Shonibare MBE: Being an Artist

Episode #084: In his London studio, artist Yinka Shonibare MBE reflects on what it means for him to be an artist, how he views his occupation as a utopian pursuit, and how the lines between the personal and professional aspects of his life are blurred.

Known for using batik in costumed dioramas that explore race and colonialism, Yinka Shonibare MBE also employs painting, sculpture, photography, and film in work that disrupts and challenges our notions of cultural identity. Taking on the honorific MBE as part of his name in everyday use, Shonibare plays with the ambiguities and contradictions of his attitude toward the Establishment and its legacies of colonialism and class. In multimedia projects that reveal his passion for art history, literature, and philosophy, Shonibare provides a critical tour of Western civilization and its achievements and failures.

More about Yinka Shonibare MBE: http://www.art21.org/artists/yinka-shonibare-mbe

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Ian Serfontein. Sound: Paul Stadden. Editor: Lizzie Donahue & Paulo Padilha. Artwork Courtesy: Yinka Shonibare MBE. Thanks: Ann Marie Peña.