By Godwin Okondo
DAY 2 of Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF 2021) will focus on visual arts as it kicks off by paying tribute to the creative works and expressions of some masters who have joined the ancestral pantheon of Nigeria’s artistic greats in the Arthouse Forum. It has as theme “Homage to the Recent Arthouse Ancestors” and features great artists like Ola Oloidi, Mike Omoighe and Yusuf Grillo who joined the ancestors this year to deplete the artist family. The panelists for the session are Mr. Oliver Enwonwu, Dr. Ademola Azeez, and Dr. Akin Onipede. The session begins at 2pm.
At 4pm after the forum comes the “State of the Collector’s Vault,” which looks at the art collections of Rasheed Gbadamosi, Sammy Olagbaju, Frank Okonta and Abdulaziz Udeh, all deceased. The session will be moderated by Mufu Onifade, with a panel that includes Dr. Sola Ogunfuwa, Mr. Olu Ajayi, Dr. Kunle Adeyemi, Prof. Jerry Buhari and Mr. Moses Ohiomokhare. It hasChinwe Uwatse as chair and moderator of the session. The session also features special guest of honor, collector and Founder of Omo Oba Yemi Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF), Prince Yemisi Shyllon.
Thereafter, an art performance ‘Atupa’, written by Yussuf Durodola, will be hwld at 3:30pm. ‘Atupa’ is an inspirational play that uplifts humanity and urges it to keep fighting against immorality and wickedness. This will be followed by an art exhibition curated by Oludamola Adebowale for ASIRI magazine that will begin at 5:00pm. The programme is an interrogation of a set of manuscripts documenting a private conversation between Wole Soyinka and Ulli Beier on ‘Yoruba religion titled ‘Orisha Liberates the Mind: The Crisis of Yoruba Culture’. This will be followed by the unveiling of an illustrated art book specially dedicated to the memory of Ulli Beier and the celebration of Soyinka’s 87th birthday, with Kegites OAU World HQ celebratibg Soyinka at 87. The session is supported by the University of Zululand and the University of Limpopo in South Africa). It will be chaired by artist and CORA board member, Ndidi Dike.
The day’s events will come to a close with the performance of ‘Mokoo Moro’ (Nomadic performance) by Jelili Atiku at 6:00pm, after which he will be joined by The Netherlands’ filmmaker, Juul Van der Laan, to discuss the performance.
This will be followed by a film screening at 8:00pm that pays tribute to a pioneer artiste titled “Allelu? Alleluiah!: The Legend of Mazi Ukonu,” a documentary on the life of Mazi Anyogu Ukonu, one of Africa’s early Hollywood stars. The programme also gives opportunity for a question and answer session with the director and producer.