A solo exhibition featuring an experimental, durational moving image meditation by Nigerian-American artist, Zainab Aliyu, foregrounding anthems of celebration across the diaspora and transversing borders to fabricate an infinite, pan-African chorus of shared somatic vibrations.
Drawing upon Saidiya Hartman’s notion of the chorus in Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, the piece surfaces “wayward” compositions that distort the colonial residue and remnants of empire in our ongoing struggle for collective liberation, as evidenced in the historical effigies of national freedom songs across the African diaspora, many still imbued with chauvinistic and patriarchal constructs.
An excerpt of the piece, which is a computationally generated ensemble composed from 80+ anthems, protests, hymns and freedom songs from the diaspora, is featured on this year’s festival materials:
“…The glory of freedom is a hymn,
A song full of dignity,
This land of beaches, hills and mountains,
Let us be the land of hope…”
This excerpt features words of celebration from the people of the lands known today as Benin, Cape Verde, Congo, Dominica, Haiti, Madagascar, Mauritania, Saint Lucia, Tunisia and Uganda.
This is a durational, time-based, non-linear piece. As a browser-based experimental film, it is infinitely playing, and resets every hour and day over the course of 6 days. We encourage you to experience this piece at varying parts of the hour.
Curated by Dara Ojugbele, Mahen Bonetti and Farima Kone Kito
Audio composer: Nombuso Mathibela
Research assistance: Dara Ojugbele
Film at Lincoln Center Exhibition Manager: Manuel Santini