Pathways of Movement
'Pathways of Movement’ is just one manifestation of the long-term collaboration between visual artist Fiona Whitty and writer Rotimi Babatunde. Fiona and Rotimi worked in Lagos together and linked with and interviewed people including Femi Kuti (son of Fela Kuti who is a famous Nigerian Afro-beat musician and political activist) and Adule Olorisha or Suzanne Wenger (1915- Feb 2009) who was the High Priestess of the Oshun Grove, Oshogbo.
Lagos is an unplanned and unstructured city yet is the most vibrant city in Nigeria. “It is the New York of Africa.” It is a mega-city with a population of 15 million, which is fast becoming the third most populated city in the world. Lagos is situated at sea and its port, Baggagory, was a major slave trade point in colonial times and now serves as a main route of departure for people migrating to Europe. There has been very little research into Lagos and there has hardly been any documentation of the city, since Western media has largely ignored Lagos.
As Nigeria is not a war zone at the moment and is one of the richest countries in Africa, due to the oil boom in the 1970’s, why are people migrating? Most people are coming as economic migrants, in search of greener pastures, because corruption in Nigeria has divided the people into distinct classes of rich and poor. The work challenges and probes at the boundaries, tackling human experience in its complexity. It provides a space for understanding, discussion and re-thinking of the urgent issue of contemporary migration in a public space.