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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Zina Saro-Wiwa: Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?--Krannert Art Museum, November 17, 2016–March 25, 2017: Home

This guide provides additional resources and information on the artists and culture groups included in the exhibition Zina Saro-Wiwa: Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance? The exhibition is on view at the Krannert Art Museum (KAM) from November 17, 20

About KAM and the Collection

Ricker Library

The Ricker Library of Architecture & Art
Contact:
208 Architecture Building
608 East Lorado Taft Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 333-0224
Website / Blog Page

About the Exhibition

Curated by Amy L. Powell, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art
Co-presented by Krannert Art Museum and Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston

This exhibition is the first solo museum presentation of works by British-Nigerian video artist and filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa, featuring video installations, photographs, and a sound installation produced in the Niger Delta region of southeastern Nigeria from 2013 to 2015. Drawing upon folklore, masquerade traditions, religious practices, food and Nigerian popular aesthetics, Saro-Wiwa’s work shuttles between documentary and performance, testing art’s capacity to transform and to envision new concepts of environment and environmentalism.

Engaging Niger Delta residents both as subjects and collaborators, 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.

Fair Use Guidelines

Materials accessed in this guide are provided for personal and/or scholarly use.  Users are responsible for obtaining any copyright permissions that may be required for their own further uses of that material.  For more information about fair use please refer to the College Art Association Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts.