Legacies of Biafra

23 October 2021 – 26 February 2022

This multimedia exhibition features works predominantly from the artistic collective Nigeria Art Society UK (NASUK) and commemorates the 50th anniversary of the end of the Nigeria-Biafra war (1967-1970). Whilst Nigeria gained its independence from Britain in 1960, Britain’s ‘divide and rule’ approach to governing Nigeria led to ongoing tensions in the country. The violence resulted in the south-eastern part of Nigeria declaring itself independent, and in 1967 the new nation of Biafra was born. War broke out between the two countries, and after close to three years, Biafra fell. The war left Nigeria forever changed.

By A Thread, Ade Ogundimu

Legacies of Biafra reflects on the ongoing impact of one of the first civil wars in post-independence Africa, including how it has influenced the perception of the continent internationally as well as social and political structures within Nigeria. It explores the human impact of war (particularly on children and refugees) and avenues towards healing and recovery.

Alongside artworks, there are books and magazines from the period, oral accounts from those affected by the war, and a selection of short films and music from that era. Find out more in this interview with Gallery Oldham’s curator Rebecca Hill, independent curator Louisa Egbunike and NASUK president Hassan Aliyu. Visit the NASUK website to find out more about the artists who are part of the collective and their work.

This film is an introduction to the touring Legacies of Biafra exhibition:

To celebrate the opening of Legacies of Biafra at Gallery Oldham, the exhibition’s curator Louisa Uchum Egbunike hosted a virtual launch event with exhibiting artists Obi Okigbo and Chike Azuonye. Obi and Chike discussed their lived experiences of the war and how it has shaped the art that they produce. Watch it below!

Take a look at other exhibitions currently on display at Gallery Oldham by visiting our Exhibition page.