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Invisible borders: Uniting Nigeria, world through photography

By Ada Dike

Invisible Borders, also known as Trans-African Photographic Initiative, has continued to soar higher as its team has continued to make positive progress in their journey to different part of the world.

The artists have been doing some fantastic adventure since its inception, though faced with different challenges. They are rugged and determined to go trips in different countries connecting the world using photography.

For 46 days in 2016, Invisible Borders travelled across Nigeria photographing and writing on the road. The aim, according to them, was: To map diversity across regions, states and ethnic formations in post-colonial Nigeria. These artists, through images and writing, interrogated both the elusive and apparent borders within the country years after the amalgamation of its Northern and Southern Protectorates.

A peep into Nigeria’s history shows that it has more than 200 distinct tribes.

“Nigeria is an entity with multiple histories haunted by British artificial constructs. But now, in a period of intense economic recession, political instability, violence, corruption and an unfettered health crisis, is there a distance between what is shared and what is privately owned?” Invisible Borders’ leadership queired.

In 2017, the artists embarked on a remarkable journey, taking another route across the country. They said there would be an attempt to complete the important work begun in the previous year. “We seek to draw a map that is at once historical and contemporary, while elucidating the ambiguities of what it means to be Nigerian.”

Invisible Borders invites African artists from Africa and Diaspora to apply to participate in the second edition of the Borders Within Road Trip.

“Since 2009 Invisible Borders has been promoting Trans-African exchange across countries in Africa through various artistic interventions, most prominent of which is the Trans-African Road Trips. T

“Join us! We are currently seeking volunteers who would work with us in furthering the aims of the Invisible Borders Trans-African Organisation, we are on the lookout for individuals who are passionate about what we do and would like to become part of this experience,” the group said in a statement made available to The Guild.

“The Invisible Borders Trans-African Organisation is run by passionate artists with an unflinching belief in the ideals of the project. The task of keeping the organisation running on a daily basis is challenging. The workload of the organisation is increasing daily as we become more proactive and ambitious. But most importantly, it’s our way of building a community of artists and art administrators alike who in working together, sustains a continuous production of new thoughts and knowledge.”


The Invisible Borders, is a laureate of the 2014 Prince Claus Award – a prestigious award that honours outstanding achievements in the arts.

This was revealed in a statement made available to The Guild by Invisible Borders Trans-African Project’s Artistic Director, Emeka Okereke.

“We are super delighted to share this good news with you, especially as this also comes with substantial rewards,” he said.
“Times like this, we look back at how this whole journey began. Today would not have been possible without the input of so many wonderful individuals. We want to extend our thanks to the following people for their priceless contributions over the years on several fronts: Amaize Ojeikere, Uche Okpa-Iroha, Uche James Iroha, Lucie Touya, Jude Anogwih, Fariba Derakhshani, Ambassador Paul Lolo, Kabir Aregbesola, Aida Muluneh and many more.”
He further sent special thanks to their ever-daring members, volunteers and administrators such as Akinbode Akinbiyi, Jumoke Sanwo, Emmanuel Iduma, Robin Riskin, Yeehui Tan, Corinne Appadoo, Marina Reina Guindo and Ogunbela Oluwaseun.

“These individuals are the brave ones who generously offer their time and brilliance to the running of the organisation especially, in the preparation of the on-going 5th edition of the road trip as well as the exhibition set to open in Amsterdam.”
“Through its annual Prince Claus Awards, the Fund honours eleven outstanding artists, thinkers and organisations whose cultural and artistic actions have had a positive impact on their countries’ development. They are often role models and are an important source of inspiration for all those around them.”

On 10 December 2014, Constantijn presented the Principal Prince Claus Award to Abel Rodríguez, artist, plant expert and community elder from the Amazon Basin in Colombia. Ten additional artists and cultural role models are also honoured for their pioneering work in culture and development.

The ten additional Prince Claus Laureates are: Tran Luong (performance and visual artist and independent curator, Vietnam); SPARROW (Sound & Picture Archives for Research on Women, India); Museo Itinerante de Arte por la Memoria (interdisciplinary collective, Peru); Gülsün Karamustafa (visual artist, Turkey); Ignacio Agüero (independent documentary filmmaker, Chile); Rosina Cazali (independent curator and writer, Guatemala); Lia Rodrigues (dancer and choreographer, Brazil); Lav Diaz (filmmaker, Philippines), FX Harsono (visual artist, Indonesia); and Invisible Borders (Trans-African Project, Nigeria).



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