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Trickle Down Politics: This Nigerian artist's sculpture protests public peeing in Lagos

Peju Alatise takes the elements of her society that make her angry and turns them into sculpture.

Peju Alatise takes the elements of her society that make her angry and turns them into sculpture

Stream Interrupt This Program: Lagos now!

Peju Alatise is a feminist, painter and mixed-media artist whose work tackles social and political issues in Nigeria, particularly relating to women and girls. One of the smaller, but still disrespectful, things she thinks is part of patriarchal culture in Nigeria is how men feel comfortable relieving themselves anywhere, and see it as a "badge of honour". 

"It's a cultural thing for Nigerian men to urinate anywhere they'd like, anytime, any day."

"Trickle Down Politics started when I moved into this place. The first time I opened the window in the back, some men came there and defecated right there in front of me. I'm like, 'Please don't shit there,' and he says, 'If you complain again I'm going to throw it at your house.'"

Signs like these around Lagos are often not followed. (Interrupt This Program)
Trickle Down Politics is dedicated to that complete lack of decency.- Peju Alatise

Public urination is a frustration for Peju, but her work often grapples with much worse political issues. The exploitation of girls and women and violence in her city is at the core of Peju's work, and her work helps her do something with her emotional reaction to horrible situations: "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."

Watch Interrupt This Program from Lagos to see more of Peju's sculptures and hear the stories of injustice that drive her work.

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.

Stream Interrupt This Program: Lagos now.


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