Jun 28, 2008

"Tageszeitung" (Berlin) Report on NF Convention

The Berlin journalist Peter Boehm attended the Nollywood Foundation Convention 2008 and posted this report in Die tTageszeitung, a Berlin newspaper he writes for.


Die nigerianische Filmindustrie boomt. Doch auf internationalen Festivals spielen sie keine Rolle. Damit sich das ändert, suchen nigerianische Filmschaffende jetzt Rat in Hollywood. VON PETER BÖHM... (see full report here)

NF Convention 2008 Pictures (8)

NF Board of Directors with special guests of the convention. (Top, l-r: Hon. Dino Melaye--Nigerian House of Representatives, Senator Ayogu Eze--Nigeria Senate, Egbe Osifo Dawodu, Emeka Mba--Director General, Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board, Lisa Poole, Dapo Otunla, Sandra Obiago--Director, Communicating for Change, Sylvester Ogbechie. Bottom, NF Board with Nollywood Actors and Guests).

NF Convention 2008 Pictures (7)

Top: Speech to the NF convention banquet Friday June 20. Bottom: l-r: Guest, Joke Silva, Okoh Aneh--Nigerian Vanguard reporter, and Bill Megalos of Megalomedia.

NF Convention 2008 Pictures (6)

Nancy Ogbechie with Zac Orji--dean of Nollywood Actors and (below) Said Kakese Dibinga--Hollywood Producer and Filmmaker

NF Convention 2008 Pictures (5)

My wife, Nancy Ogbechie and I at the 2008 Nollywood Foundation Convention.

Los Angeles Film Festival Opening Night...

Scenes from the opening night events at the Los Angeles Film Festival showing the main movie premier theater and red carpet. Middle: Sandra Obiago, Nollywood Foundation Advisory Board Member at the LAFF Opening. The Nollywood Foundation was a participating organization and hosted a film-THE CHOIR--at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival.

NF Convention 2008 Pictures (4)

Audience and conference attendees at the morning panels. Top: Michael Davie, Director of the CHOIR, in conversation with Zac Orji, Dean of Nollywood Actors.

NF Convention 2008 Pictures (2)

More pictures from the NF Convention 2008. From Top: Nollywood Foundation Board of Directors, l-r: Dapo Otunla, Lisa Poole, Sylvester Ogbechie, Egbe Osifo Dawodu. Middle: NF Directors with Advisory Board Members, l-r: Sylvester Ogbechie, Joke Silva--renowned Nigerian Actress, Lisa Poole, Egbe Osifo Dawodu, Dapo Otunla, Ngozi Mba, Rob Aft, Sandra Obiago; Bottom: Lisa Poole, Joke Silva, Egbe Osifo Dawodu and Sandra Obiagu)

NF Convention 2008 Pictures (1)

Pictures from the 2008 Nollywood Foundation Convention held at the Sofitel Hotel Beverly Hills in Los Angeles (from top: poster of the NF Convention 2008; Sofitel Hotel Los Angeles; Night lights at Beverly Center Mall)

Jun 26, 2008

Tayo Adenaike at Parrish Gallery, Washington D.C.

Ongoing at the Parrish Gallery in Washington D.C., an exhibition by renowned watercolorist Tayo Adenaike titled "Glimpses". Adenaike is a major figure in the Uli Revivalist Aesthetics of the Nsukka School, a Nigerian art movement with global impact. The gallery's announcement of this exhibition is posted below:

This exhibition, entitled Glimpses of what is and what is not will open with a reception from 6:00 – 8:00 pm on Friday, June 20 and will run through July 15, 2008. “No art tells the whole truth; but Glimpses of what make us realize, what is the truth and what is not.” Tayo Adenaike has developed his own visual idiom and mastery of watercolor technique. His keen sense of color, design and composition, evident in his work, translates into vivid thought provoking images. He also excels in graphics and computer compositions.

Born in 1954 in Southwestern Nigeria, Mr. Adenaike had his first formal art lesson in 1967 as a student at the Federal Government College in Warri. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art in 1979 and a Master’s in Painting in 1982 from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Following in the Uli painting tradition he is a third generation artist of the Nsukka School. In his predominant fluid medium, his keen sense of design and composition give strength and character to his paintings. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Nigeria, the United States, England, and Germany. His paintings are in public museum collections and private art collections in 16 countries. Notably, the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, and the Museum der Weltkulturen in Frankfurt, Germany have his paintings in their collections.

Tayo Adenaike lives and works in Enugu, Eastern Nigeria. Unique among artists in Eastern Nigeria, his Yoruba heritage and artistic sensibility are enriched and layered by his immersion and fluency in Igbo culture and language.

Jun 25, 2008


The Nollywood Foundation hosted THE CHOIR at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival. This film focuses on a Johannesburg Men's prison choir and it is a powerful testament to the power of music to change lives. The USA premier of the movie took place at the Landmark Theater on Pico in Los Angeles on Sunday June 22. I attended the premier on behalf of the Nollywood Foundation. Also in attendance: Joke Silva--notable Nigerian actress, Sandra Obiagu--Director of Communicating for Change, and Katie Evans, VP Acquisitions & Production for National geographic, who part-sponsored the film. The movie was well received and its screening was followed by a robust question & answer session with Director Michael Davie. (Pictures top to bottom: Promotional poster for the CHOIR from LAFF; Michael Davie, Director of the CHOIR, at his appearance at NF Convention 2008;

Long Time No See...

Nigerians say, "Long Time No See..." when one runs across a friend one hasn't heard from in ages. Been quite a while since I turned to my blog. Lots of things to take care of here not the least of which is the work of bringing another academic year to a successful conclusion. Anyway, it's now summer and I'm looking forward to putting more information on my blog over the next couple of months.

A lot has happened since I returned from my residency at the American Academy in Berlin in December. I served as Acting Director of the Center for Black Studies Research at UCSB, and with John Peffer (co-editor of Critical Interventions Journal) worked on getting issue number two of the journal produced. It is now in press and we expect to get the printed books in about ten days. This at least ensures that the Critical Interventions Journal of the Aachron Initiative does not end up as a single-run publication, a problem integral to many comparable efforts in African art history publishing. The Second issue is a fine document and future issues are in the pipeline to ensure that the journal reaches its goal of two issues per year by issue number four targeted for Spring 2009.

Above all, the 2008 Nollywood Foundation (NF) Convention just wrapped on Sunday June 22 in Los Angeles. The NF was a participating organization with the Los Angeles Film Festival and we hosted a movie titled THE CHOIR for LAFF on Sunday. This is the movie's American premier. I will be posting more information and pictures about the NF Convention 2008 on my blog over the next couple of days.

So then, cheers everyone...nice to be back blogging:)

Jun 10, 2008

Aachronym cited as "Website of the Month" by ARTTHROB

The following news item appeared in ARTTHROB, a South African online publication (see the original publication here).

Speaking on Contemporary African Art: Two Art Blogs
by Chad Rossouw


Trying to find engaging up-to-date text about contemporary art in Africa has always been a challenge on the internet. There are general sites such as www.africancolours.net, which is useful for news and some critical content and it also has a great links section. But one still feels the need for more specific critical content. Even a large organisation, with a specific theme, like www.dakart.org has an un-navigable site, with few images and little content. As far as I can tell, there is nothing like ArtThrob in any other African Country. African art blogs, which would fill up the gaps, are a rarer bird still.

Nevertheless, I have come across two blogs, by well-known art professionals Bisi Silva and S. Okwunodu Ogbechie, which provide some interesting content. Silva is an independent curator, based in Nigeria. She travels extensively across the continent and world and her blog, www.artspeakafrica.blogspot.com, reflects this. It is a little too infrequently updated to be comprehensive, but it is still a useful resource and has been online for close on two years. Her posts often give details about exhibitions and events, such as auctions in Lagos, but also move to reviews of larger events across the continent, such as Cape '07, and Dak'Art. I find her posts always personal, friendly and upbeat, but no less incisive for it.

Ogbechie is an art historian based in the USA. His areas of specialisation, however, are Nollywood and contemporary African art. His blog www.aachronym.blogspot.com is slightly more academic in content, and often more about film, but well worth trawling through. Interesting opinions, links and criticism make regular appearances, especially on the topic of global African culture, equality and representation. Curiously, both blogs have an almost identical design, which, though not visually exciting, is clean and legible. They also both have RSS feeds, so although neither change daily, you can keep an eye on new content as it arrives.

Jun 6, 2008

Museum Directors Issue New Guidelines for Acquiring Antiquities

The Philanthropy News Digest reports that "following a year and half of deliberations, the directors of the country's largest art museums have issued new guidelines for collecting antiquities with the goal of discouraging the looting of archaeological sites and treasures, the Associated Press reports". The guidelines are a welcome statement acknowledging the predatory acquisition models of some museums and their conscious or unconscious complicity in acquiring art and antiquities looted from African and other archaeological sites. This statement might in the future provide a basis for investigating the museums' relationship with the infernal market for looted antiquities.

Jun 2, 2008


FYI, a SLATE magazine story on the fate of a particular black soldier during World War Two ("The Greatest Manhunt of World War II"). A commentary on the relative invisibility of memorials to black and African soldiers who served in all the wars of Europe, especially the second world war where their efforts often went unrecognized. I speak specifically of my uncle, Sylvester Okafor Ogbechie (whose name I bear) who died on his way back from the Burma campaign, and many of his kin who also died fighting as conscripts in Britain's army. As far as I know, no African soldier who fought in these campaigns and survived was ever paid any retirement benefits or compensation. The story reported by Slate magazine is stomach churning for detailing the horrific conditions of racism under which these black soldiers fought and died. This is a form of slavery that persists in the modern world for which one ought to be able to make claims of reparations. Problem of course is that no such claim is ever taken seriously. As the diabolical dictum puts it, "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others". May the souls of these brave soldiers rest in peace.