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Unveiling Nigeria Imaginary

Nigeria Imaginary will explore the many Nigerias that live in our minds, curated to capture a sense of optimism imbued in inherited and collective cultural history. Articulated through different perspectives and constructed ideas, mediums and disciplines, nostalgias for Nigeria and visions of the Nigeria that is yet to be, Nigeria Imaginary is a restless investigation of the legacies of the colonial past in today’s post-independence nation and a defiant imagining of a hopeful, youth-driven future.

MOWAA is proud to serve as the organiser of Nigeria’s second ever Pavilion, Nigeria Imaginary, in collaboration with the Edo State Government and the Federal Ministry of Art, Culture and Creative Economy. The exhibition is curated by MOWAA’s very own Modern and Contemporary Art Curator, Aindrea Emelife and will be at the world-famous La Biennale di Venezia 2024, one of the longest-running cultural festivals in the world.

On the Nigeria Imaginary

The upcoming exhibition will feature a diverse array of artworks. Tunji Adeniyi-Jones will blend Nigerian and Venetian traditions, while Ndidi Dike explores themes of the recent #EndSARS protest and police  brutality . Onyeka Igwe’s audiovisual series examines colonial legacies, and Toyin Ojih Odutola delves into post-independence creativity. Abraham Onoriode Oghobase navigates Nigeria’s colonial records, while Precious Okoyomon captures atmospheric conditions and confessions. Fatimah Tuggar explores colonial and global impacts on indigenous craft, using AR and AI, and Yinka Shonibare CBE RA comments on colonial history through sculptural installations based on looted Benin artworks.


Along these new commissions,  the Pavilion will exhibit a selection of historic and contemporary Nigerian objects, in a space called “The Nigeria Imaginary Colloquium.” These curated common areas will immerse visitors in a display of historical artifacts, ephemera and quotidian objects from the past and present, elaborating on the intersecting themes of Nigeria Imaginary and providing a visual and intellectual scaffold for the exhibition. With the exciting prospect of the exhibition’s return to Nigeria, it will mark the inaugural display of the Rainforest Gallery which will be the next building in MOWAA’s masterplan.

To keep up with the Project’s progress, visit the official Nigeria Pavillion Venice Biennale website.