Svg patterns
Loading Events

Onyeka Igwe: history is a living weapon in yr hand

With audio description and creative captions

history is a living weapon in yr hand is a solo exhibition of new and reconfigured work by London-based artist Onyeka Igwe.

The exhibition will be centred around a new two-screen adaptation of Igwe’s dual timeline experimental film A Radical Duet (2023). The film imagines what happened when two women of different generations, but both part of the post-war independence movement, came together in London to put their fervour and imagination into writing a revolutionary play. The film depicts this process, and envisages what that play would look like, if staged today.

1947 London was a hub of radical anti-colonial activity. International intellectuals, artists, and activists like Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Sylvia Wynter, C.L.R. James, Kwame Nkrumah, and George Padmore were all in London at the eve of the end of British colonialism. Individually, they were agitating for their respective countries’ national independence, but did they meet? And if they all did, what did they discuss? What did they conjure?

The film will be accompanied by elements of the set design and props from the making of A Radical Duet, taking inspiration from Sylvia Wynter’s ideas on theatrical adaptation. Wynter builds on Brechtian principles of modern epic theatre and advises on how set design can support a theatre to ‘explode [social] fears by bringing them out into the light of day’.

For this exhibition, Igwe will be working with Collective Text, an organisation supporting accessibility in art and film through creative captioning, audio description and interpretation.

A Radical Duet was commissioned by FLAMIN Productions through FILM LONDON Artists’ Moving Image Network with funding from Arts Council England.

history is a living weapon in yr hand is produced in collaboration with Peer Gallery, London, where it will be presented in autumn 2024.

Photographs by Jules Lister