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Exhibition

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Title: Dark Places II: Doubt
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Year of Production: 2018

It is impossible to estimate the damage that bad leadership afflicts on citizens of impoverished nations. A lot of it is unseen and easily escapes the gaze of the naked eye. This damage is multifaceted and numerous, one of which is doubt. It targets yourself confidence. When you have labored time and again and come up short, not because you are dumb or lazy but because you lack the necessary opportunity and support system, despondency creeps in. Confidence vanishes and you begin to doubt yourself and all the things you know for certain are good ideas, processes and solutions. We are human. We are that vulnerable. This is when we must fight even harder to maintain that belief in our ability and capacity knowing fully well that fortunes can change in a second.

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Title: Dark Places IV : Nightmare on Euro Streets
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Year of Production: 2018

Life is anything but simple. We can apply simple solutions to complex problems and still be stuck with our problems. I am not quite sure what is more infuriating. The trafficking and dehumanizing treatment of prostitutes by their pimps or the collapse of African governments that has created such desperate and dangerous search for opportunities in other shores. They are equally pathetic I guess… but one sad situation has created the other.
To be clear, no human society can eliminate prostitution in because of man's insatiable demand for cheap accessible sex. You want to kill the supply of prostitutes of color? Kill the European demand for cheap exotic sex. Demand creates supply. Economics 101. But snuffing out that demand is one economic conundrum that man just can’t get around. You see, the fight against prostitution in general is misguided and hypocritical because the patriarchy are infact patrons as well and female companionship has always come at a price anyway, whether we are talking about wives, girlfriends, mistresses or flesh peddlers. What a waste of time. You want a good time? It will cost you. Nothing valuable in this world is free. And why take issue with the money part and not the sex? Because this ruse was all about control and the male reluctance to pay for it. The criminalization of commercial sex was never about ethics. The patriarchy just loves bossing women around.

The trafficking bit is clearly the problem because of its violation of human will. If these women are able to operate willingly and on their own terms just like their colleagues all over the world, then a sexual transaction between consenting adults is arguably a victimless 'crime' that society can almost tolerate even in these repressive times. But that people of colour are now looked upon as problematic parasites who need to 'go back to where they came from' is the consequence of our collective loss of dignity, a situation that has been precipitated and sustained by failing African economies.

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Title: Dark Places V: Lights Out
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Year of Production: 2018

It is said that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That may be the case but these problems we face are exhausting though. So exhausting in fact that the outcome of frequent power outages have left us at a loss physically, economically, educationally, financially, politically, socially and emotionally. So no we are not stronger in the literal sense by any stretch of the imagination. But we must hang in there. Our parents survived the civil war and my father tells me that what we face today is nothing compared to war. Thanks dad but it is not a competition. I understand where you are coming from though. Generations to come will read about us and our story will only impact them positively if it is about our tenacity and relentless fight not to go under.

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Title: Dark Places V: Lights Out
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Year of Production: 2018

The market is flooded with them. Made in China. They are mostly cheap and arguably 'substandard' goods for mass consumption. But substandard? According to who? Beggars can't be choosers, can they? We are in the fight of our lives. Made in China is how we are surviving. It is the story of how we toiled and maneuvered our way through an impossible economic situation. This is our success story and that story is made in China.

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Title: Happy People
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Year of Production: 2018

It always amazes me when people can find happiness in desperate situations. They say Nigerians are some of the happiest people in the world. Now that is a head scratcher. Shouldn't it be the opposite? Or is this some random myth that merely portrays us as exceptional? Sometimes I feel we should all be perpetually pissed off like the character Paper Boy in Donald Glover's Atlanta. But maybe I am getting it all wrong. What if our boisterous disposition is driven not by an acceptance of our fate but by a dogged determination not to go under? Perhaps happiness is a choice after all. One thing is for sure though. If we are truly as gregarious as our reputation has it, then it must be one the things keeping us from losing our sanity.