Lagos-Based Annotations Research Associate Programme Unpacks Pan African Festivals Through the G.A.S. Library and Picton Archive

Lagos-Based Annotations Research Associate Programme Unpacks Pan African Festivals Through the G.A.S. Library and Picton Archive

The Annotations Research Associate Programme is designed to explore African art festivals, such as FESMAN, Panafest, Zaire 74, and FESTAC’77. The seven-week-long programme falls under the wider scope of G.A.S. Library and Picton Archive’s Re:assemblages project. We are pleased to announce the selected participants - budding multidisciplinary curators, Adeyosola Adeniran and Ufuoma Ogbemudje, and independent archivist, Osayame Emokpae-Ozoro. Running parallel to our archival practice internships supported by Spelman College and AUC (Atlanta University Center) Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective, this opportunity for Lagos-based practitioners foregrounds our foundation's dedication to building capacity within our local industry in Lagos.


What is the current focus of your practice?

Adeyosola: My present preoccupation is grounding my research practices. I am discovering and defining what my critical inquiries look like in the context of my artistic endeavours. Summarily, my focus is on research as praxis. 


Osayame: I am the Lead Archivist at the Emokpae Archive, a project I started with Eseoghene Otubu in 2020. The primary goal of this archive is to document and preserve the legacy of Chief Erhabor Ogevia Emokpae (OON), a renowned Bini artist. In pursuit of this goal, alongside developing the archive with available “materials”, I am conducting research into Emokpae’s artistic practice and life in order to examine him as “The Artist”, “The Man” and “The Philosopher”.


Ufuoma: At the moment, I'm really interested in the (performance) possibilities of limited space, documenting this with laptop and/or cellphone cameras and generally working with minimal equipment towards building rhythm and experimentation in my work.


G.A.S. Library and Picton Archive. Photographer: Andrew Esiebo.


What drew you to apply for this opportunity and how will it inform your wider practice?

Adeyosola: The emphasis on research was the main attraction for my application. Also, I have been vaguely curious about the festival form and how it is deployed in various sociocultural contexts. Finally, I believed this opportunity would bring me closer to exploring how Nigerian/African aesthetics have been depicted over time.


Osayame: I am particularly drawn to the Annotations mission to study the interconnected histories of Black Art and Culture Festivals, especially FESTAC ‘77. The festival is a reoccurring subject in the Emokpae Archive, as Chief Erhabor O. Emokpae was its Creative and Decorations Consultant. I have had the privilege of documenting the work that went into realising this festival.

As rewarding as this process is, I would like to learn more about FESTAC ‘77 and the other Black art festivals that came before and after it, as well as the histories that link them together. It would also allow me to engage in proactive discussions and activities that not only promote African and Black cultural exchanges but also discourse on the sustainable management of cultural heritage resources and develop infrastructures that foster organic local engagement with these resources. My career in archival science has been self-taught so far, and participating in this research programme will allow me to refine my practice in a more knowledgeable and better-structured environment.


Ufuoma: The possibility of working with African Art and contributing to its articulation and preservation. Our histories provide context, making it essential to be aware of them and I think this awareness is foundational to a life in the arts as an African.





Adeyosola Adeniran is an art curator based in Lagos. As a curator, she is interested in unveiling personal narratives and tackling the liminailities of the self. Her literary background underscores the lens through which she engages art. She has worked on projects such as the Lagos Photo Festival and Table of Hope. She recently concluded a residency with RMB Latitudes CuratorLab.



Osayame Emokpae-Ozoro is an archivist living and working in Lagos, Nigeria. She is one half of the Emokpae Archive, a project she started with Ese Osamede in 2020, to preserve the legacy of Chief Erhabor Ogevia Emokpae (OON). Her archival practice is influenced and motivated by an ongoing discourse on cultural heritage management practices that would adequately cater to the uniqueness of African heritage resources.




Ufuoma Ogbemudje is a video artist and curator based in Lagos Nigeria (with Urhobo and Ijaw roots) and holds a BA in Film/Video from the University of Toledo with a minor in Art History. His curatorial practice consists of exhibitions with the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, the Toledo Museum of Art, and SMO Contemporary Art which have been focused on Southern African American artists and Nigerian artists. His video art practice emphasises experimentation through performance-based uses of limited space and cameras from mobile devices.


The Annotations Research Associate Programme is generously supported by Femi Akinsanya.

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