Lemi on colonialism in art and the image of Africa

Lemi’s art makes a strong statement about how African people have adopted Western values and thus lost freedom of thought and action as a result of the colonialist era. Even now, the strands of colonialist mentality are still visible through the Western potrayal of African culture, impregnated with prejudices of the Black continent being an under-developed and savage environment.

ikoyi blindness

The Black man and woman is still colonised today. Look all around you and see what I mean. Most of the women in Africa and the Diaspora have their hair permed permanently. We wear Western clothes in Africa. We speak English to our children as the first and major language. Our culture and tradition is rapidly disappearing. With Christianity and Islam in total dominance as religions of Black people, tell me how Black art cannot and still continue to be colonised today? We’ve got to first emancipate ourselves from mental slavery before our minds and art can release itself from being colonised.

Lemi

if you see smth

Lemi distinguishes between the image of Africa thaWestern culture has produced and the representation he gives to his own culture:

The primitive image of Africa is represented by the Western information machinery. It is mostly about wars, hunger, starvation and underdevelopment. I’m trying to portray the image of our society albeit critical at times but in the vein of us taking a look at what is wrong to come up with a progressive and lasting solution. The image of hope, self worth, pride and dignity of the African. This I hope to leave as my legacy.

africa-future

21 Comments

Filed under Meanings, Opinions

21 responses to “Lemi on colonialism in art and the image of Africa

  1. Republic of Africa

    May your vision for AFRICA shine.

  2. Albert

    Love the site. Can you send a book or packet with your work directly to me?

  3. This is what we need to do–bring back faith in own identity and culture. in few centuries the racists destroyed what evolved over a million year. Lemi and his art speak to make Africa free in mind in spirit and in art and culture.
    “If I had to choose between an erudite Aristotle and an unknown ‘soulless’ black slave I would choose the latter.”
    excerpts from the book ‘Mona Lisa does not smile anymore’ (ISBN 978-81-8465-512-4)

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