Lagos to Maputo

Invisible Borders 2018 Trans-African Road Trip

Invisible Borders is a Nigerian NPO founded by artist Emeka Okereke. Armed with his band of artists, historians, photographers, film makers and architects the project works to bridge gaps across different African cultures in the form of Trans-African journals, workshops, public platforms and exhibitions. Expanding on the notion of ‘borders’ – Invisible Borders addresses geographic issues as well as “other forms of discriminatory parameters”, providing itself as a symbol of exchange of ideas between African cultures.

 

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On her latest post, @iam_kayugwuede asks: How well do you know a place? . . “In Ikom, our guides are three elderly men who have an uncanny grasp of the area and its people. As we make our way through the community on the first day we arrive, I quickly notice how the presence of one of them seems to literally part ways for us. Swiftly. He tells one of us he “has this place in the palm of his hands.” It seems like a conceited statement to make, but underneath, I see a man who has taken the chance to dive in fully and has immersed himself in the lives and stories from the community that he has become one with them and they with him. On the flip side, I also see the willingness on both sides of the divide, to bridge the borders that divide them, make them invisible.” . Remember you can follow the road trip: download the IB Road Trip App from Apple Store and Google Play Store. . . . #lagosmaputo2018 #transcendingborders #invisibleborders #ikom #kayugwuede

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Starting in 2009, Invisible Borders has embarked on the 8th edition of their Road Trip Project. The trip epitomizes the organization’s effort to promote Trans-African exchange. In one vehicle two groups of creatives from Africa and the diaspora set out to travel from Lagos, Nigeria to Maputo in Mozambique. From October 3rd to November 23rd, the trip will work to document and interact with stories, events, and happenstances along the way. Mapping their trip on historical routes, the team work creatively in the spaces between past and present; connecting with the lived experiences of border transactions, victims of regional conflicts, as well as exploring the infrastructural and economic development that elude to Africa being regarded as “the continent of the future”.  The participants work to create their own narratives and identities, through a collaborative process where there is the forging of cross-cultural experiences. The project shows how innovation is helping African’s create their own future realities.

 

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Image: Kene and @troublesome_nerd at our stop in Ohosu, Edo State, Nigeria. Yesterday, we left Lagos for the first city in our itinerary Enugu. Though the journey was smooth, it was not entirely uneventful. We made stops, some planned, some unplanned. We are already getting into the spirit of the Invisible Border road trip journey. From @nakesa.wanjala and @literarygansta taking walks in Benin where they met and conversed with some indegenes of Benin (more to come on their first blog post) to Kenechukwu Nwatu and @emekaokereke filming and photographing in Ohosu as well as Benin. Stay with us. See link in bio to follow this incredible journey across Africa. #lagosmaputo2018 #invisibleborders #enugu #transcedingborders.

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2018 Artists:

Emeka Okereke

Barbara Wanjala

Kenechukwu Nwatu

Tope Adegoke

Kosisochukwu Ugwuede

Innocent Ekejiuba

Together in one vehicle, engaging with the cultural and literal landscape of their continent, the artists document their travels with real-time photographs, blogposts and visual diaries, all the while stretching the boundaries of the ‘studio’ allowing the vehicle they travel in to become a space for discussion, experimentation and innovation. Currently in Ikom in Nigeria, the artists will continue through Nigeria to Cameroon, on to the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and down through Zimbabwe ending in Mozambique.

 

 

 

Pamela Bentley is a writer on ART AFRICA‘s editorial team.