Born Throw way! Born throw way! is a Nigerian Pidgin English loosely translated: A child that is born and thrown away. Someone who is rejected from the family or societal structure or anyone whose life transgresses against the […]
Born Throw way!
Born throw way! is a Nigerian Pidgin English loosely translated: A child that is born and thrown away. Someone who is rejected from the family or societal structure or anyone whose life transgresses against the popular norm.
Born throw way! is a multimedia installation featuring video, photography, sound and illustrations printed on fabric. This project explores the community of loosely organized street gangs in Lagos, Nigeria known as “Area Boys”. By delving into the subculture and counterculture, I examine the symbolic approaches to humans-as-waste and how the social is ascribed a corporeality so an “Other” is cast as polluting, expendable and rendered “matter out of place” or abject. My interest lies in interpreting the self-other dimension of interactions in the city of Lagos where the violence of structural marginalisation is seen as a positive means of social purification.
I looked intimately at the day-to-day lives of the “Boys” and their generative use of self-created language, expressions and slangs to consolidate, promote and reinforce their ideological interests. Likewise, the improvised and unofficial realms they occupy and the power structures that sustains their ecosystem.
The collective identity of “Area boys” is also explored through fabrics and clothing, this is rooted in the ideology and the age-long practice of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Here, the fraternity that exists among wearers of “and co” (which means uniform) is belonging, acceptance and community–––no matter how transient. The creation of the uniform for this project was collaboratively achieved between myself as the artist and the subjects in my work. While I selected the fabric, the “Boys” chose the tailor and influenced the style which was made, this co-creative dialogue preserves their personal agency and authority over how they want to be seen and presented.