Akinbode Akinbiyi: Six Songs, Swirling Gracefully in the Taut Air

A new exhibition in Berlin presents long-term projects composed over four decades by British-Nigerian photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi.
The photography exhibition Six Songs, Swirling Gracefully in the Taut Air brings together works from various long-term series composed by the author, who has captured intimate scenes and communal life in cities such as Lagos, Berlin, Johannesburg, Bamako, and Chicago, among many other locations.

Akinbode Akinbiyi’s anthology of black and white pictures reflects a world of overlooked narratives, gestures and beliefs in the midst of noisy streets, coastal horizons and dense neighborhoods. For Akinbiyi, wandering is a central tool for documenting social realities and the psychogeography of urban environments.

This exhibition includes the internationally renowned series Lagos: All Roads and the ongoing ensemble African Quarter – photographs made in Berlin since the late 1990s. These document streets that carry historical traces of Germany’s colonial past and plot candid encounters amidst the African diaspora and Afro-German communities in the city, especially around the neighborhood of Wedding (Berlin).

The exhibition is curated by Natasha Ginwala.

About the Author

Akinbode Akinbiyi is an artist, photographer, curator, and writer. He was born in Oxford, UK, in 1946 and grew up in Lagos and England. He studied Literature and English in Nigeria, England, and Germany. His engagement with photography started in the mid-1970s as a self-taught practice. His photography is a window to the spirituality of everyday life.

A portrait of Akinbode Akinbiyi

Initially rooted in the fields of architecture and journalism, the photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi struck out on the proverbial artist’s path with a focus on sprawling megacities, especially those on the African continent. He wandered the highways and byways of places like Addis Ababa, Cairo, Johannesburg, Kano, and Lagos, searching for moments of pure serendipity.

Today Akinbiyi continues to document major cities as well as smaller locales, including Bamako, Mali; Cotonou, Benin; Dakar, Senegal; Durban, South Africa; Ibadan, Nigeria; Khartoum, Sudan; Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Maputo, Mozambique.
He lives and works in Berlin.

Akinbode Akinbiyi: Six Songs, Swirling Gracefully in the Taut Air
7 February – 17 May 2020
Gropius Bau, Berlin

*Attention: the Exhibition is closed from 16 March to 19 April 2020.

For more info: https://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/

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