Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographic Initiative is an art-led initiative, founded in Nigeria in 2009 by passionate Nigerian artists – mostly photographers – with a drive and urge to effect change in the society. The mission of the Initiative is to tell Africa’s stories, by Africans, through photography and inspiring artistic interventions; to encourage exposure of upcoming African photographers towards art and photography as practiced in other parts of the continent.; to establish a platform that encourages and embraces trans- African artistic relationships within the continent, and to contribute towards the socio-political discourse shaping Africa of the 21st Century.
Route: Lagos (Nigeria) – Lubumbashi (Congo)
After successful completion of the IB 2011 from Lagos to Addis Ababa, the Invisible-Borders team plans to travel from Lagos, Nigeria to Lubumbashi, Congo for the 2012 edition. This year’s trip will feature ten artists from different countries in Africa traveling over 13,000 km within 48 days (through mostly rough terrains) from the 23rd of August to the 9th of October 2012. The trip is anchored to the “Rencontres Picha, the biennale of Arts of Lubumbashi and will be organized in collaboration with its organizers.
The group will make stops of about five to seven days in the capital and important cities of Nigeria, Cameroun, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Congo (Kinshasa and Brazzaville) to create artistic works in collaboration with the indigenous artists in the cities, while networking within the art community. However intermediary stop will be made in towns between cities according to the on-ground reality of the trip.
Participants of Invisible Borders are dedicated to creating works, which portray the dynamism, richness as well as contradictions of the various modes of existence of the African people. In doing this, they reject a simplified notion of Africa nor a tidy definition of it, but instead hopes to create an archive of works which “complicates” the depiction of contemporary Africa, one which sees the continent as work-in-progress, rather than a foregone conclusion. However, this will not deter from exploring themes centered on socio-political discourses prevalent in the continent such as women’s right; the role of China and other economic world powers in the shaping of the African economy, nature and wildlife preservation/sustainability, as well as the Infrastructural boom. They will equally explore fashion and music and their role in creating Trans- African relations. Artists are allowed to work from a more personal angle as well as create conceptual photographic, video and textual works. The aim is to tackle diverse but presently relevant issues as seen individually by each of the ten artists involved in the project. In 2013, a book will be published which will be a compilation of the four editions from 2009 – 2012.
You can read more about the project and the trip on their website.