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Exhibition

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Title: conversations the procedure
Medium:
Year of Production: 2018

Ezenwa: I need you to be strong. Now is the time to put all that church-going into practice. Hauwa: I am trying but I am scared. I had a dream. I didn't make it. I need a favour. Please promise me that you will take very good care of our kids even if you remarry. Please....
Ezenwa: What? Lord have mercy. Why this kind of talk now? It is just a lump. The doctor said it is a simple procedure. Women do this all the time.
Hauwa: It is a simple procedure if you catch it early.
Ezenwa: ….I know. We should have done a mammogram all these years. I just couldn't afford it at the time. But it has not spread like that. The doctor said your chances are good. His words, not mine. Hauwa: I don't know…. Just promise me you will always be there for the kids. I love you and in another life, I will find you. I swear I will find you. Please look for me too and wait for me. I will find you.
Ezenwa: Don't say that. Please don't say that …don't…
Hauwa: …..I am sorry. I didn't mean to make you cry. I just…
Ezenwa: We will beat this thing, you have to be strong. Okay? We will grow old together. Okay? Hauwa: …..okay

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Title: Dark Places: Voices in my Head
Medium:
Year of Production: 2018

There is a constant tug of war between pragmatism and optimism that we all have to endure. Both are necessary. We just need to know which way to swing depending on the circumstance. Human suffering weighs heavily on me. I try to stay in my bubble. It is a nice bubble. But the echoes of anguish all around occasionally pierce through it like gun shots in a grave yard. How do we soothe human pain in tough conditions? It is common for us to say, 'Everything is going to be alright'. But that is not a fact. It is a wish. Everything might be 'alright' eventually for a few, but not for all. Or do we tell them the brutal truth and say something like 'Life is shitty and meaningless anyway. We are no different from animals. We live, we hunt and we die and there are always newborns waiting in the wings to replace those exiting. So if you are in pain, be comforted by the fact that you will die someday and be put out of your misery'. That is pragmatic but dark….and defeatist. It seems the situation calls for optimism then. Optimism offers no guarantees but it keeps hope alive. And with positive thinking, anything can happen. That is the power of the mind over matter.

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Title: Drifter
Medium:
Year of Production: 2018

The search for a calm and peaceful place is a universal human desire. Some find that peace in solitude, among family and friends or in religious places of worship. Lately, a growing number of people have been seeking that peace in Codeine medication, a cough medicine that has the ability to totally numb the senses and put the user in a trance-like state. This Codeine abuse is a growing epidemic among young people that just spiked within the past few years and there is a theory that it is all linked to an attempt to get away from the devastating psychological effects of terrorism and hardship. It is heart breaking. The troubled and traumatized are searching for their peaceful place too. It is alarming how far some will go in order to find it.

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Title: Love Letters
Medium:
Year of Production: 2018

Adanma, you come from a lineage of strong and beautiful people. Your kind are robust in stature. Their lips are full and their noses wide set. Their hips so naturally curvy and chunky it is almost unfair that they are this well blessed. And that firm chocolate skin of yours that beacons and teases light in ways that are peculiar? This is what beauty looks like in our part of the world. You have to remember how blessed you are, especially now that it feels like your world is unraveling, with everyone piling on you for having the audacity to seek a better life in other shores. Truth be told, all shades of people are all over the continent as well, seeking and taking advantage of opportunities wherever they can find them. Africa might have failed us but you Adanma will not fail us.

Wherever you are, remember what our parents taught us. Work hard and keep your hands clean. Please understand that rough situations don't define us. It is our response to difficulty that reveals our character. Maybe our life on this planet is of consequence after we depart and maybe it is not. I don't know for sure. But we must continue to do good and be kind to all people even when they do reciprocate that. This you must do Adanma, not because it is profitable or strategic but because it is right. Adanma go well. An entire continent is rooting for you. We love you.

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Title: Dark Places III: Sleepless in Surulere
Medium:
Year of Production: 2018

There is an argument to be made about why we are the least progressive people on our planet. Infact, if you tell me these days that Africans are mentally incapable of rivaling people of other races, I may not put up a rigorous fight in opposing that statement. This is not because I accept that we are congenitally inferior but because I have become increasingly aware of how poor quality of living decimates the human potential. There is something there for sure. Take sleep deprivation for instance. In a continent ravaged by inadequate power supply, most people do not get quality sleep. We are in the tropics. The heat is blistering and sabotages one's efforts at getting decent sleep.
You will be amazed at what poor sleeping patterns can do to a person. Studies indicate a reduction in cognitive function, response to stimuli, creative thinking, judgment and intelligence. Sleep loss also interferes with all manner of daytime functioning. Throw in failing educational standards, poor diet, a life of perpetual anxiety, uncertainty and insecurity and you have the perfect storm. So yes, as hard as it is for me to say, I am inclined to believe we are below par. Not surprisingly, we perform much better and competitively away from home in societies where these challenges are absent. If this feels like an excuse, it is not. It is just an acknowledgment of the depth of our challenges.