Adedamola R. Mogaji

There is a statement, “Africa is a country,” used to satirize Western‘ preconceptions about Africa. With billions of people, thousands of ethnicities, several colonial histories and varied post-independence struggles, the continent is spoken of as a single plane that is beset by bad leadership, unending poverty, and the odd scenery. Yes, the continent has these, and yes, there really are some similarities across the different countries and cultures. But, the question remains: Is that all that can be said? And there is another question: How can you represent what truly is Africa? For us at Saraba, we set out to have ...
WE THINK that to deal with art we ought to present it, not talk about it. For four months we opened our window to artists producing the finest work in Nigeria, Africa and elsewhere, and the result is what you will see. Seeing is ultimately a trafficking in subtlety, especially if that process of seeing is influenced by art. What, exactly, is art? Since at Saraba we‘re open to this kind of questioning that is essentially a voyage, the kind that assembles literary content, art is a process as well as an outcome. Art is the reverberation of colour; art is ...
It may seem appropriate, or perhaps by coincidence, that in 2014, the year that marks the amalgamation of Nigeria, Saraba begins with a look at History. This prompts me to pause and consider the static nature of the past, its influence of the present, and repercussions for the future. The more I consider History, the more I consider History as made; the more I consider History’s multiplicity. In this issue, our contributors unravel the making and remaking of experiences, of History. From the personal, from the collective, there is a sense that history is not a one-off event. It is in constant ...
How do we contemplate solitude? With silence, hands cradling chin, eyes staring into space in an empty room without articles of interest, an atmosphere of quotidian existence of devotion to matters of the heart? The matters of the mind, perhaps, might be a more fitting description. The heart is often misconstrued as software; it is rather a fist-size muscle lodged in a rib-cage compelled to whip the body into inevitable exhaustion. The mind is the place of memories, the parlour of thoughts, the hacienda of imaginations, the bedroom of introspection, the bar room of puzzlement. The go-to place when confusion dares one’s ...
A story burns its presence on your skin, like the gazing eye in a photograph. You feel your own bareness and insecurity. You know what your love is worth: a great sacrifice: whatever it takes, to remain committed. The thought of dying often crosses your mind. And yet. Hope returns. Hope and survival are not discussed as a binary. If your life is full of holes, it is better than no life at all. Hope does not function as a feel-good supplement. It is like a thrust, a living-on, an anchorage.
A Saraba special issue on global migration and refugees featuring the work of Tobias Zielony & Victor Ehikhamenor, as part of the German Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, 2015

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