ASHAWO : Who says you're a hoe??

curated by Amaechina David SNIPES

Anita Shinnel, ODG SHINNEL, October 2021
  • This information will be updated.
"Get promoted at work...Ashawo
Go for a night stroll alone....Ashawo
Be a single mom...Ashawo
Buy a car....Ashawo
Tell a trader in the market not to touch you..Ashawo
Me, Ashawo! You, Ashawo! Everybody, Ashawo"

"Ashawo", is a Nigerian slang meaning sex worker /prostitute. The word is now been used as a derogatory remark by men and in some cases women, to attack women at different points of their lives.

The group exhibition features female creatives from Lagos, Nigeria. These artists, have through the course of their careers and daily lives challenged sexual prejudice against the Nigerian woman. Through the medium of fashion, Performance art/documentary, Visual art, and Yoga/spiritual art, the exhibition will provide a general overview of the situation in order to create an in-depth awareness of this issue, and to reduce its reoccurrence amongst the younger women. The exhibition will open with a live dance performance, fashion exhibition and Yoga presentation that will happen consecutively, on the first day.

Oluwapelumi a yoga/spiritual artist who constantly faces backlashes, slut-shaming, and slurs about her mode of expression on social media; displays a series of images from her Atunba collection. Her works embody divine femininity and sensuality, and is intended to reposition the perception of the viewers about her works. After her sole protest at a popular Lagos market, she has since used her art as a form of activism against gender based derogation.

Adeyemi Motunrayo a dance artiste tells her personal story and that of various females dancers who have faced sexually related verbal and physical attacks in their line of work; using a dance documentary that combines performance, story telling and a series of interviews featuring female creatives across Lagos state. The documentary will be aired on a large projector, inside a separate room located in the studio which will have all sides of its wall covered with black backdrop to create a cinematic atmosphere

Anita shinnel a fashion designer and stylist who has experienced sexual harassments at different points in her life, displays a series of outfits tailored to challenge negative impressions about women and their preferred choice of clothing. Installations featuring outfits modeled from the live showcase will be on display at the entrance of the studio, through the course of the exhibition.

Janet Ade a confessional artist whose art is an expression of intimate moments and openness of truths and feelings others may be otherwise shy to confront, showcases her personal and other relatable experiences in a series of mounted framed artworks strongly highlighting the theme of the exhibition, on one side of the studio.

Changing the narrative cannot happen from the side of the victims only, the exhibition intentionally curated by a man, challenges Nigerian men who are the main perpetrators of this predicament; to stand for women, protect her from negative situations, and assure support and involvement in creating a safe and comfortable environment for the Nigerian woman to thrive.

*The text above was submitted to apexart's 2023-24 INTL Open Call, and rated by over 700 jurors. Any specific artists mentioned are unconfirmed and subject to change.
David Amaechina also known as SNIPES is a multifaceted performing artist, choreographer and community organizer based in Lagos, Nigeria. His work revolves around situational dynamism in an African context; which includes, but not limited to performances which are mined recreation from memory, contemporary folklore and appropriated global culture as experienced by him.

apexart’s program supporters past and present include the National Endowment for the Arts, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Kettering Family Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, The Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Spencer Brownstone, the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation/Affirmation Arts Fund, the Fifth Floor Foundation, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, The Puffin Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and administered by LMCC, funds from NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.