Karimah Ashadu: Plateau– Galerie Ursula Walter
Eröffnung: Freitag 19.5.2023, ab 17 Uhr
Einführung: Susanne Altmann, 19 Uhr
Karimah Ashadu’s work is concerned with labour and self-determination practices pertaining to the social, economic and cultural context of West Africa and its diaspora. Her video installation Plateau, depicts a group of undocumented, self-employed tin-miners in Nigeria's Jos Plateau region, striving to make a living out of an impoverished and unstable land as well as precarious, when not life-threatening, working conditions. Plateau merges a lyrical and investigative exploration of the relation between the landscape and the corporeal, with the majestic presence of the cactus symbolically conjuring both in its endurance to harsh surroundings. Male bodies are seen strenuously sifting mud and moving buckets of water in repetitive, brushstroke-like gestures. Yet, rather than romanticising, the film stays close to these fatigued workers, whose determined gestures courageously attend the land through inherited manual techniques and re-mine what the British colonial regime left after it exploited Nigeria in its complex, century-long, violent occupation. Their testimonies, together with those of local villagers and landowners, document the economic collapse of the region in the aftermath of British extractive corporations’ decommission as well as the newly found opportunities to pursue their community’s independence.