Art Criticism & Reviews:

1. Whom Did He Love? (memoir as photography criticism), for The Brooklyn Rail (Critics Page), 2022

In this short essay, I looked for my [great-]grandfathers in the tender face of a young man photographed in 1911 by N. W. Thomas, the official anthropologist of the British Colonial Office. “Where he has gone in the photo, you only go in the company of love or the company of grief for a loss you must now avoid.”

                    Listen to me and other November issue critics talk about our contributions here at The Brooklyn Rail’s event: Balance of Stories

2. Precious Okoyomon’s Politics of Ecological Revolution (mixed-media installation), for Inkstick, 2022
“What matters is what we choose to do about death and decay, this inescapable feature of reality. This is what Okoyomon’s theory of mutation, flux, and motion is about: that our lives and deaths are an act of revolution, an expression of what power chooses to save or neglect, and what human power and systems can not wrestle from nature.”

3. Ovye’s Ramin Tsuliyan Ungwan Pama is for the Wanderers and Truth Seekers (music), for Native Mag, 2022
Attentive to the economy of sound and silence, Ovye has established himself as a bold, exciting voice in the experimental Soul/R&B tradition that includes the likes of Moses Sumney, Jon Bap and Benjamin Clementine.

4. Uniform by Kacey Jeffers (photobook), for The Photographers’ Gallery, 2021 ”Undergirding the pleats and trouser creases in all uniforms is the weighty principle of discipline. And underneath this discipline are the different vibrant personalities, dreams and struggles of students that Jeffers wants us to see, hear and understand. Not only through his view of them but also through their own words, which he includes on a blank page accompanying each photograph.”

5. MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora (photobook), for Zeke Magazine: The Magazine of Global Documentary, 2018
“Roaming over the 100+ photographs included in this anthology is the gaze of the black woman in diaspora, revealing what she sees, the questions she asks and the ways she reimagines the world. Agency, community and possibility are the undercurrents of this book anchored in self-portraiture: the practice of claiming space for one’s self and one’s history.”

Profiles & Interviews

1. hFactor: Lagos Queerland, for TSA Collector’s Series, 2022
One could categorise the hFACTOR collective as a social enterprise that fosters creativity in the Lagos Island community through collaboration with global creative networks to create lasting development solutions. Their first year’s theme was ‘Animal Welfare’. How else do you begin a conversation in a city that is committed to the survival of only the wealthiest, the most hyper-masculine and the most heteronormative, than by investigating animal welfare? “There is nothing more queer than nature,” as the Colombian ecologist-activist Brigitte Baptiste reminds us.

2. Kkerelé: the Nigerian Footwear Brand Promoting Slow Fashion, for AMAKA Studio, 2022

For Akerele, her designs are wearable art. She cares deeply about revitalising old indigenous design practices and partnering with local artisans and craft industries. Building a business out of her art practice has required nimbleness around strategy and an unquestionable commitment to her own instincts and taste. “Do what is from your heart,” she says, “the clients will come.”

3. Touria El Glaoui wants 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair to Become so Successful, It’s No Longer Needed, for AMAKA Studio, 2021

“Sustainability in the African art industry will come with the growth of collectors in the local African markets. [...] With a platform like 1-54, we have been able to open more people’s minds to think about African art beyond masks and the traditional/classical. It takes time. I see more people going to graduate school to write theses on the African art industry. We are starting to see more progress in terms of sales, visibility of interest and willingness to engage with African art on a deep, deep, level.”

Opinion & Reporting

1. L’Africapitalisme va-t-il vraiment sauver l’Afrique? (Will Africapitalism save Africa?), for Le Temps, 2022 (also in print p.9)
Our current economic system needs to go beyond the Africanisation of an exploitative system. Instead, it needs to foreground collective responsibility, be vigilant about closing the inequality gap and commit to the welfare of all workers, consumers and the environment.

This op-ed was featured as part of a debate series, alongside an essay by Tony Elumelu, and a co-written essay by Khadija Sharife (South African investigative reporter) and Ricardo Soares de Oliveira (Professor of Politics and IR, Oxford) who is completing a book on the hidden face of Africapitalism in Western banks and consulting firms.

Listen to me talk more about Africapitalism here on the Nigerian Scam podcast, following my essay in The Republic (best of 2022 Economics writing).

2. Nigerian artist’s work in St. Paul’s does not challenge British History, for African Arguments, 2022
The idea that situating the portrait of a ruler next to the memorial of his conqueror–in a bastion of the conqueror’s empire–gives the portrait teeth to bite the conqueror’s history is a dangerous illusion.

3. Ekpere Ji Ji: Traces of Delight in 1990s South-East Nigerian Architecture, for GIDA Journal 2022 (profiled in VOGUE US here)

4. How African Women are Navigating Roadblocks in the Global Art Industry, for AMAKA Studio, 2021

I spoke with Rakeb Sile of the Ethiopian art gallery Addis Fine Art, Aziza Balogun and Sosa Omorogbe of the Nigerian Sabo Art Advisory, Sakhile Matlhare of the Frankfurt-based Sakhile & Me gallery, Teesa Bahana of the independent non-profit 32° East|Ugandan Arts Trust, Nigerian artist Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu and Egyptian artist Heba Khalifa. The reverberating message from these women is: “we can make the contemporary art industry work for us too.”

Fiction, Poetry & Life Writing:

2022                        Why Had They Never Left, Michigan Quarterly Review

2019                        Sasha Fierce asks ‘Why Don’t You Love Me?’, Lunch Ticket
2018                        Another Day, Nanty Greens

Life Writing
2022                        Feature, Tender Photo Journal
2022                        Still in Enugu, Lolwe
2022                        Finding Belonging in London, In Real Life by The Photographer’s Gallery, UK
2018                         Me, My Body and I, Popula