Peju Layiwola, Making Meaning of a Fragmented Past: 1897 and the Creative Process
One of the most traumatic experiences that occurred in Africa at the turn of the nineteenth century is the Benin/British encounter of 1897. The plundering of thousands of works of art from the palace of the king of Benin by the British, now spread across several museums in the West, continues to be an issue that keeps recurring. Ever since that episode, 1897 has become a theme which is explored by various artists in Nigeria in a variety of genres. This paper attempts to discuss some of the artistic engagement with this theme and how artists have sought to recapture the past in a variety of media. Some images, sounds or other media used in the following presentation are subject to copyright restrictions that prevent them being shown. In order to provide a complete record of the conference, these items have been blurred or silenced. Should we obtain permission to use these images, sounds and other media in the future the films will be updated.