The power of language is seen in how similar words can communicate nuanced meanings and emotions. Consider the words house, habitation, abode, and home, for example. For some reason, “home” denotes a fondness and communicates sentiments that the first three words do not project. This implies that in some contexts, home is not necessarily where we live. We can live someplace while our home is elsewhere. Another plausible inference is that home is not only where we live. While we can live only in one location at a time, we can have multiple homes.
Who knew the subject of home could be complex? Well, we did and still do. It’s why our ongoing group exhibition, Home is Here and There, looks to uncover people’s ideas of home.
We’ve opted for an interesting approach to understanding how people think about their safe spaces. Using evocative art including paintings, drawings, and ceramics, Home is Here and There explores the concepts of migration and mobility and how they shape our perception of where we feel the most comfortable.
Here’s how we are thinking of migration and mobility. Obviously, a ton of Africans keep skipping the continent for locations abroad. As such, it’s easier for us to think of this slice of the population as those who have left home, have new homes, or multiple homes, depending on each person’s definition of home.
However, migration within Africa is also rampant, as a survey by Afrobarometer reveals that 36% of Africans are more likely to move to another African country. Since intra-African migration is a thing, we are interested in seeing how people who have swapped locations within Africa think about the concept of home. Swapping locations here doesn’t have to be nations; it could be locations within the same country, state, or province.
We are also thinking of this exhibition’s theme in light of recent happenings, specifically, the pandemic-induced lockdowns. While some people were cooped up in their homes, some were stuck in “foreign” locations for months. How did this experience challenge their views of home? Did it spur them to view the home more in terms of functionalities or sentiments?
Naturally, we have an agenda we hope to promote that stems from our own idea of home. Our goal is to minimize differentiating factors like geographic borders and nationality and instead, emphasize the values that connect us as Africans. The reason is there are several Africans living in locations on the continent other than where they have natural ties to and feel right at home where they are. If that’s the case, which it is, home for them isn’t one place. It’s here and there. Such an approach to defining our homes will help us elevate cross-cultural connections and values like acceptance, peaceful coexistence, and brotherhood, that will ensure we thrive.
The exhibiting artists are Bamidele Agbezin, a painter, ceramist; Nathalie Djakou Kassi, and painter Ben Osondu. They are all vastly experienced artists, with their personal migration stories which they’ve infused in their entries for the exhibition.
We’d Love To Have You!
Home is Here and There runs from November 14 - December 18, 2021, and we invite you to stop by sometime. We are open Tuesdays to Fridays, 10 am - 6 pm, and 12 pm - 7 pm on Saturdays, while visitations on Sundays and Mondays are by appointment only.
Venue: Artpedia Gallery, 1, Oluwakayode Jacobs Crescent, Off Adedeji Okunnubi, Oladimeji Alo, Freedom way, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.
Get Free tickets here.
Watch a clip of our previous exhibition, A Tale of Shared Experiences.