Raji Bamidele – On Artists And Politics

Raji Bamidele – On Artists And Politics

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Download Farabale Africa #23

Download Farabale Africa #23

So, by popular demand, we’ve gone full magazine mode!

Content on our homepage ( will be published MONTHLY and compiled into a 30 page super-light-to-download and easy-to-read magazine with stories, photos, comics, movie and music from the African counter-culture.

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Nigeria turns 57 in a few days. Do you think the art/design scene has improved since independence?

Yes and No. No in the sense the way things are now, are not the way they were in the past. Yes in the sense that we’ve improved even if it’s from ground zero to ground one, there’s certain change. Looking at the recent age, which is our generation, we’ve tried as much as possible to push Nigeria’s art industry into the western world and also tried to make the westerners notice us to. But, compared to how it used to be in the past, things are not so well-planned all the time, it’s more about they doing their own thing, there’s more like a traditional way of them doing things just among themselves, but, with the help of the youths, we’ve been able to break boundaries.

If I’m going to make reference to the movie and music industry, they’re way ahead – compared to the design (industry). We’ll definitely get there because looking at how things used to be and how things are now, we’ll get there. It’s just about we coming together as one., what I’m saying is that there should be competition but a friendly one, in the sense that, I’m an artist and you’re an artist – I shouldn’t want you to fail, in as much as you’re doing something, I should try to appreciate the fact that you’re also an artist and you’re also trying to push the community that we both belong to – not the other aspect of saying: “oh, you’re an artist and I should try to compete with you and try to beat you down”. No, i don’t support that which I think actually goes on in the art industry and I want that to stop. It’s really rampant in that (art) industry, yes.

What do you feel is the role of the artist in a nation’s development?

Over time and with the few studies I’ve had about art, artists are actually historians and apart from that, we’re also initiators. There’s nothing that actually stands without art. For instance now, you want to build a how, don’t tell me engineering, don’t tell me architecture because even architecture is broken out from art. So without that, you’ll need an artist and his insight because when you want to build something, you need a visual of what it would look like and that means you’ll always need an artist. In as much as they say we need the doctors, soldiers, the engineers, You need the artists because creativity is within, you can’t push it out. So basically, I can say everyone is an artist but I won’t. The real artists are the ones who survive.

Watch full interview on the video above. Spot some some shots and excerpts from the digital mag below just to whet the appetite.


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