Artwork: Blood, Blood In Biafra
About the work:
The Nigeria-Biafra War has continued to be among the roots on which many existing crisis in the nation thrive. The causes of the Nigeria-Biafra War are numerous. They include; the multi-ethnic societies that co-exist within the nation yearning for their individual voices and autonomy, the riots of 1953 and 1954, the elections of 1957 and ultimately the 1966 crisis which was the major incident that fueled the war.
In spite of all these, the Nigeria-Biafra War has not received enough visual documentation. Also the Nigerian educational curriculum has not fully accommodated the study of the events that transpired during the war in order to enlighten the masses on the causes and experiences of the war with a view to averting future reoccurrence. This explains why similar events that lead to war can be seen hanging precariously over the nation.
There is also the challenge of artists finding it difficult to derive conceptual imageries from events that were chaotic. For some, it is difficult to undergo the creative process in order to appropriate those images that most suitably embody the philosophy behind the event they intend to capture.
In light of the above, this painting has visually highlighted some of the events that happened during the war, including hunger, starvation, death, genocide, and kwashiorkor with the view to add visual data to existing efforts made at studying the Nigeria-Biafra War.
Blood, Blood in Biafra is presented in five panels which can be discussed individually or as a single painting. Each of the panels embodies elements of the Biafran war, with subtitles that vividly elaborates the central theme. The painting shows what appears to be a compressed, yet highly conceptual visual chronology of the Nigeria-Biafra War.
The first panel depicts the commencement of the war; it shows the chaos and violence experienced during the war. The second panel is also a continuation of the conflict although with an increased intensity. The third panel brings to light the bloodshed and fight as seen during the war; while the fourth panel depicts the starvation, hunger and death that characterized the Nigeria-Biafra War. Genocide, destruction and the end of the war can be seen in the fifth panel.
Name: Richard Elekwa
Details of works:
- Blood, Blood in Biafra, Acrylic on canvas. 2015, 15×4 feet
Richard Elekwa is presently pursuing a career in studio art having recently concluded his MFA in painting from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. During his MFA programme he understudied the causes, effects and post Biafra War era. His works encapsulates the unstable, chaotic, violent, corrupt and unsafe Enviroment which we live in; however, his works acts as a social vice that warns and dissuades the populace against the ills of engaging in antisocial activities that can take the society into backward future.