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Picturing Women: Identity, Power, and Photographies in Urban Nigeria

Binaisa, Naluwembe; (2020) Picturing Women: Identity, Power, and Photographies in Urban Nigeria. Photography and Culture , 13 (3-4) pp. 267-278. 10.1080/17514517.2020.1809937. Green open access

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Abstract

In urban Nigeria, the profile of photography as an art form is on the rise and the work of female artists is coming to global attention. This article argues for a more nuanced analysis that reflects on image objects that ‘speak back’ to issues of inequality and challenge center/periphery sightlines that remain salient within a transnational, interconnected ecosystem. ‘Picturing women’ alludes to the active intersection of the feminine as framed identity within a context of unequal power relations at the global and local level. Through the prism of three key pieces from artists Ndidi Dike, Adeola Olagunju, and Jumoke Sanwo, based in Lagos, Nigeria, I trace the use of lens-based media within their respective practice. What emerges is the relevance of enduring ways of seeing and being from a local ethnographic context that challenge the powerlessness discourse that so often frames visions of Africa. The concept of ‘impaired citizenship’ from the work of theorist Ariella Azoulay provides a helpful provocation to think about the particularities of place that photography unsettles to propose connectivity beyond borders. In conclusion, the article calls for more critical engagement with discursive questions of difference to counter persistent opacities and silences.

Type: Article
Title: Picturing Women: Identity, Power, and Photographies in Urban Nigeria
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/17514517.2020.1809937
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/17514517.2020.1809937
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Nigeria, photography, women, citizenship, identity, Lagos
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10154212
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