When the sad situation in the north eastern part of Nigeria; Baga happened, many were peeved that it didn’t get as much publicity in the press or other media as compared to the Charlie Hebdo case or others. But, what about the Nigerian and big African press houses? What about the majority of people who live near Baga and breathe down the gun barrels of the Boko Haram and know they could also be attacked next? Shouldn’t they protest, or shouldn’t there be an up-rise of some sort to show there’s bloody anger seeping from their eyes to see “Boko Haram just used a 10-year old girl as a bomb detonator and massacred up to 2000 others” in the headlines and their government is doing almost nothing while election period is near?

Is it because people today are so self-absorbed, distracted by technology and overworked that in general there’s a tendency that we may feel bad for people in dire situations but we really don’t care enough to do anything? Is it because we live in an unequal world where people haven’t raised their consciousness high enough to embrace a “brotherhood of man” and realize what is truth and what is not? Do our evolutionists friends still think humankind is evolving? Or is this evidence to the contrary?

By the way, let me go on to the main reason for this post. Two contemporary artists are worthy of note; Olanrewaju Tejuoso from Nigeria and Attukwei of Ghana because their works delicately sublimate the recent massacre at Baga- very symbolic expressions depicting the about 2000 villagers executed by Boko Haram terrorists.

In “Disturbing the Peace” Vaclav Havel writes; “Every work of art points somewhere beyond itself; it transcends itself and its author; it creates a special force field around itself that moves the human mind and the human nervous system.” True, works of arts which are in connection to situations of trauma go to trigger a ricochet of emotions.
Talk of emotions, Horowitz breaks it down better; “our emotions alert us that something is out of kilter, not right, not what we want. They are our sensitive “mental radar”. We perceive the experience of our feelings through our minds but because every separate emotion evokes a specific pattern of response in the autonomic nervous system, every emotion radiates an effect throughout every organ in our body. Every language, in fact, has dozens of expressions for emotions that are expressed in physical terms – “a lump in the throat”, “a broken heart”, “bowels in an uproar”, “a sickening feeling”.
William Shakespeare in Macbeth gives relevant justice by using art in cases of trauma;
“Give sorrow words;
the grief that does not speak;
whispers the o’er‑fraught heart
and bids it break”

Olanrewaju Tejuoso
Baga 2000

– terrorism must end –

“2000 massacred in Nigeria ”

– forgotten victims –

Burnt plastic canisters and sand installation.

©Attukwei- 2015


Author: Kwame 'Write' Aidoo

Kwame Aidoo, also known as Write is a fond reader, writer and lover of music and the arts, with a degree in Biochemistry from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Tech., Kumasi and a certificate in Cultural Organizations in Transition from University of Lüneburg. He founded the creative activism movement: Inkfluent which curates Slam Ghana, The Write Experience, Vocal Portraits poetry albums, Slam Lab and the biggest literary festival in Ghana; Nkabom Literary Festival. Aside Ghana, where he is based, he has shown work in Brazil, Togo, Austria, France, Benin, Germany and Burkina Faso and most recently Norway with Aurora Ekvatorialis; a light sculpture and texts collaboration with Norwegian artist Toril Johannessen, exhibiting at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, 16.9.2016 – 15.1.2017.

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