University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of Fine and Applied Arts
500 E Peabody Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820
KAM Lower Level, Auditorium (Room 62)
Join us Thursday, February 23 for an Artist Talk by British-Nigerian video artist and filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa. She will speak about her body of work and the exhibition Zina Saro-Wiwa: Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?
Engaging Niger Delta residents both as subjects and collaborators, Zina Saro-Wiwa cultivates strategies of psychic survival and performance, underscoring the complex and expressive ways in which people live in an area historically fraught with the politics of energy, labor, and land. Known for decades for corruption and environmental degradation, the Niger Delta is also a verdant place, an abundant food producer as well as provider of crude oil and natural gas to the entire globe. The United States has until recent years been the largest importer of Nigeria’s oil, while Europe and India are now the top destinations. Returning to this contested region—the place of her birth—Saro-Wiwa insinuates herself as a transformative force ingesting and disgorging the stuff of tradition and of psycho-social dynamics to produce new origin narratives. Her new work makes visible the cultural, spiritual, and emotional powers propelling the Niger Delta and its connections as a global energy capital.