In her artistic practice Otobong Nkanga often takes as starting point the systems and procedures by which raw materials are locally dug up, technologically processed and globally circulated. From there she follows the threads that intertwine ores, material culture and the construction of desire with the redistribution of power and knowledge. In the frame of The Diasporic Schools, Otobong Nkanga creates a series of podcast, in resonance with her project Carved to Flow, an expansive and continually transforming work initiated in 2017, that seeks to create awareness around networked geographies, economic histories and affective entanglements informing the creation of everyday products. In October, Nkanga releases four podcast episodes: each of them starts from the life of one product or element, tracing its transportation in an expanded geography, and unpacking history from the perspective of its existence. To compose them Otobong Nkanga gathers a multitude of voices and styles, assembling soundscapes and conversations, poetry, interviews or music. Episode after episode, element after element, she accompanies the listeners in the mobility of idea, people and goods, and within a reflection on forms of circulation, connectivity and care. Sound is a way to dig in the inherent complexities of material elements and their potential value, and to disclose how land and its natural resources are entwined with emotions, memories and knowledge.

Otobong Nkanga, who was born in 1974 in Kano, Nigeria, is an Antwerp-based visual artist and performer. After studying design in Nigeria and then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, she obtained a masters’ degree in performing arts from DasArts in Amsterdam, exploring the potential of the body and the voice. Her work questions notions of identity, the status of African women and the cultural particularities of Nigeria, the land of her birth. She has exhibited in several institutions including the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Tate Modern (London), the Kunst-Werke (Berlin), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) and the Biennale de Lyon.

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