Watch Interrupt This Program: Lagos — Artists Provoking Debate
A city charged with a simmering new artistic energy amid terrorism, violent patriarchy and injustice
Lagos, the largest city in Africa and an economic powerhouse, is characterized by extreme social inequalities, frequent power cuts and a rapidly increasing population. In the rest of Nigeria, political upheavals, including the militant insurgency of Boko Haram and a drop in oil production in the country's oil sector, are among some of the challenges facing the government of Mohammadu Buhari, elected in 2015.
I'm extremely angry. I am furious. I am mad. So that's why I do what I do. To try to channel that anger.- Peju Alatise , a painter and mixed-media artist whose work tackles social and political issues in Nigeria, particularly relating to women and girls.
Lagos, and its exploding art scene, is where these realities are brought to the fore of people's consciousness. In this episode, we follow a Canadian-Nigerian poet and three Lagos-based artists — a performance artist whose audacious spectacles take place on busy streets, a feminist visual artist with a focuson the narrative of women, and a musician reviving the city's live music scene.
I was arrested because I questioned power. I questioned the King. I questioned his actions."- Jelili Atiku, performance artist whose pieces draw from Yoruba traditions of masquerade
Lagos is the craziest place on the planet — organized confusion, confusion organized. There's no way you wont be inspired. There's no way you wont get out of your house screaming, close to tears. There's no way you wont feel touched as a human.- Adé Bantu, musician, producer, and founder of live music series Afropolitan Vibes
How women disappear: we disappear psychologically, we disappear emotionally, we disappear physically, and still nobody cares.- Titilope Sonuga
It is my responsibility as an artist to speak out and protest. I'm not going to be a passive person. I am determined to consciously live in the future.- Jelili Atiku
In Lagos you need to create an alternate universe for yourself in order to not go mad.- Titilope Sonuga
This whole space of pain and sorrow has been transformed into a place of happiness. With Afropolitan Vibes, we want to bring people together again. We want to remind them of the spirit of who we are.- Adé Bantu
Art as political protest, as a means of survival, as an agent of change, as a display of courage and delight. Interrupt This Program explores art in cities under pressure.