Gothics in Nigeria


This is a project that i did together with Stephen Tayo for New York Times. Read the text from Edwin Okola about the project here.

A thought experiment: when you hear the word 'gothic', what do you think of? In my case an image as cliché as it could be: a lanky teenager full of teenage anxiety , with an asymmetrical black-painted hairstyle, a gothic robe and a pale face above it. He or she listens undisturbed to music through headphones - high probability that it is Within Temptation of Evanescence.

Admittedly, my image of gothics clearly dates back to high school, when the schoolyard was still divided into all kinds of tribes: the hockey girls, the altos, the hip-hop devotees. I do not remember that I recently saw another age-old in gothic gear. I was surprised to find out that the gothic scene is still alive and well, but in Lagos, the million-capital of Nigeria. It is a somewhat shy subculture, born in the 1990s, when teenagers wanted to rebel against the oppressive politics of the country by copying the clothing and behavior of the American punk and metal subculture. These teenagers today still form an online community that occasionally meets physically on special occasions. They call themselves 'gothics', and can be recognized by their preference for dark clothing, heavy makeup and obsession with death.

Edwin Okola, 2018, ‘From MySpace to the Streets of Lagos’, New York Times, January 2019

Previously shown at:
Corrosia, Almere, 2019

Installation pics

Gothics in Nigeria - Corossia (Almere) 

Gothics in Nigeria - Corossia (Almere)