The Department of Creative Arts at the University of Lagos, Nigeria and the Arts of Africa and the Global Souths research programme at Rhodes University, South Africa hosted an eight-day publishing workshop at the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS), JP Clark Centre in Lagos, Nigeria from 1 - 8 November 2019. The PROSPA (Publishing and Research of the South: Positioning Africa) publishing workshop is a Mellon funded programme run by the Arts of Africa and the Global South research team at Rhodes University. It is linked to the Africa-based editorial consortium partnership of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Press Journal, African Arts. This was the fourth consecutive year of delivering this fascinating Annual Publishing Workshop, whose aim is to bring together Africa-based scholars working in the visual arts. The first workshop was hosted by Rhodes University (2016); the second, hosted by Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda in collaboration with Rhodes University (2017), while the third edition was hosted by Rhodes University in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2018), Ghana.
The 2019 team of selected participants was led by Professor Ruth Simbao (of the Arts of Africa and Global Souths research programme, Rhodes University) and her Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Ganiyu Jimoh. The selected participants for the workshops were Dr Abiodun Akande (University of Lagos), Dr Akinwale Onipede (University of Lagos), Dr Lekan Balogun (University of Lagos / University of Cape Town), Dr Tosin Tume (Federal University Oye-Ekiti), Dr Olusegun Titus (Obafemi Awolowo University) and Kehinde Adepegba (Lagos State Polytechnic). Dr Kim Gurney (University of the Western Cape/University of Cape Town) was also selected but unfortunately could not attend for personal reasons.
Some of the highlights of the PROSPA workshop included a talk by Professor Ruth Simbao, the Director of Arts of Africa and Global South Programme, Rhodes University on “Reaching Sideways As We Cast New Shadows: Counter-Narratives and a Geopolitics of Proximity in the Remaking of “African Studies” at the Institute for African and Diaspora Studies (IADS) at the University of Lagos. Her talk was followed by a performance by the renowned Nigerian Artist Jelili Atiku titled, “Enítere Èjitere”. Participants had the opportunity to visit a few galleries in Lagos, including Dr Chief Nike Okundaye’s Art Centre. Dr Okundaye received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts at Rhodes University in April 2019. In addition, the PROSPA Fellows attended the ArtX Art Fair that takes place annually in Lagos and worked together to write a collaborative response. Participants also engaged with students and staff of the School of Creative Arts at the University of Lagos about publishing in the arts and in academia, and they all presented paper drafts that are in the process of being revised for publication.
Performance by Jelili Atiku, “Enítere Èjitere”, at the University of Lagos, Nigeria