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The Unexamined Society Cannot…

The Unexamined Society Cannot…

The Unexamined Society Cannot… By Toyin Akinosho When we created the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) in the courtyard of an apartment block in Lagos 25 years ago, there were a number of reasons for the name of the new club. An important one was that the artist could not afford, in the view of CORA’s founders, to create art that was only about aesthetics. In the socio-political environment of the time, mere aesthetic considerations were a luxury. The predominant genre of literature in Lagos in 1991 was poetry and much of it was angst ridden, hiding biting criticism in[...]
LABAF 2016 STATEMENT, BY JAHMAN ANIKULAPO

LABAF 2016 STATEMENT, BY JAHMAN ANIKULAPO

EDUCATION TO THE RESCUE …The BOOK as the MegaStar And so it happened!!! That Fellow with abominable sense of reasoning has been enthroned!!! That One with vile philosophy! That Fellow with deranged ideas! That One with a vision so dark about collectivised Humanity! That Fellow who hates the Being in others! That One with fallow Mind! That Fellow with intellect so Shallow! That Sorcerer with Narrow view of the world. That One with Brain in his ‘other’ leg! That Fellow… That One… who belongs NOT in the commune of the Intelligent, the Loving and the Believing in the Capacity of[...]
LABAF 2011:  Literature Meets History at Freedom Park

LABAF 2011: Literature Meets History at Freedom Park

I arrived at Freedom Park, the venue of the just concluded 13th Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) with a bag of mixed feelings. As I found a parking space in the heart of the city centre, I felt an instant surge of déjà vu. I remember how I have felt each year in the last ten years that I have been a regular at the book fest. Usually, my heart would beat faster at the thought of reading a good fiction but it is always a different feeling when you think of an impending encounter with books stands, with[...]
National Theatre: Concession or Sale – What Difference?

National Theatre: Concession or Sale – What Difference?

(Statement by the Committee for Relevant Art) In order to properly engage the BPE on the transaction regarding the National Theatre, we need to understand the nature of the transaction itself. It is common within the art sector to call the transaction a ‘SALE’ of the National Theatre. If the transaction is not a sale as the BPE says, then the implication is that the strident arguments against a sale are flawed ab initio. In order to understand the nature of the transaction therefore, we may want to refer to BPE’s explanation on their website: http://www.bpeng.org/services_faq.htm#faq1_4 Why is BPE „selling”[...]
The Freedom Park As A Site For Creative Explosions

The Freedom Park As A Site For Creative Explosions

ONCE upon a time in Lagos just before the Independence, there existed a notorious prison established by the colonial overlords. Those colonialists who created the prison were incredibly callous to the nationalists who were demanding for freedom and justice for their people and country. And they were arrested and put in fetters; the colonial lords incarcerated the natives whom they believed were making trouble by demanding freedom from political bondage. Among these freedom fighters, who became inmates of the so-called penitentiary, were Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Alhaji Lateef Jakande and others. Today, the iron bar gates of the colonial[...]
Why Hay Festival Of UK Wants To Partner LABAF

Why Hay Festival Of UK Wants To Partner LABAF

ORGANISERS of the Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, an annual event held for 10 days between end of May and beginning of June in Hay-on-Wye, Pow, Wales have declared their intention to partner the yearly Lagos Book and Art Festival, LABAF. The disclosure was made by two representatives of the UK festival, who were observer-participants at the 13th edition of the LABAF held November 18-20 at the Freedom Park, (Old Colonial Prison Site located on Broad Street Lagos Island). The participation of the Hay Festival officials in the Lagos event was via representation by its Development Officer, Maggie Robertson[...]

Entropy and Energy: Lagos as City of Words

1 While two key terms in the title of this paper are “entropy” and “energy”. I wish to keep the former of the two, “entropy”, on hold for a while, and to begin by acknowledging positive energies, by admitting that the stimulus for this paper was to give honour to the remarkable efflorescence that has taken place in the Nigerian novel over the last few years. After a period—roughly speaking, from the mid-1980s to the mid-90s—during which in Nigeria less creative energy seemed to be spent on fiction that on drama and on poetry (see Adesanmi and Dunton, 8—12), the[...]
Do Not Resuscitate…An inclusive converge for motherland

Do Not Resuscitate…An inclusive converge for motherland

Stepping out of the regular or commercial art into issue-based theme should not be an expression confined within certain genres under conceptual art, so suggests Do Not Resuscitate, the art exhibition segment of Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) 2011. ORGANISED by Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), Do Not Resuscitate offered the visual artists space to address the socio-economic and political challenges facing Nigeria. Bringing performance, video and installation art in the same space with painting, the show portrayed an all-inclusive and democratic approach to conceptual art. And just as some artists have argued that conceptual content has relativity within[...]

My Encounter With The Book, By Babawale

Director General of the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation, Prof Tunde Babawale culled up the teacher’s instinctual resourcefulness in him on Fridday to take a group of about 600 children through a mentoring session at the opening of the 13th Lagos Book and Art Festival, LABAF held at the Freedom Park, Broad Street Lagos. Babawale, a professor of Political Economy at the University of Lagos, who is curent head of the Federal government agency, CBAAC, was the special guest of honour at the Book Festival; and the role required him to mentor young Nigerians — students —[...]
Reminiscences as CORA marks 25

Reminiscences as CORA marks 25

Sunday, June 5 was a day of reminiscences and projections by culture enthusiasts when the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) marked 25 years of its existence at Freedom Park, Lagos, with an Art Stampede themed: ‘25 Years of Culture Advocacy: What gains? What prospects?’ Many of the artistes who were at CORA’s very first stampede in 1991 and those who have benefitted from the organisation’s activities over the years were present at the gathering where CORA’s Secretary-General, Toyin Akinosho, recalled the organisation’s origins and what it has so far achieved. At the inception of the quarterly CORA Art Stampede and[...]