Thursday, 13 October 2011

MARY ONETE KASIM AND NKAMAKONAM ANAEBONAM

Vibration of the MindsFresh from the class
(First published in August 2007)
BY TAJUDEEN SOWOLE
Though they are about to step out into the murky world of photo journalism, Mary Onete Kasim and Nkamakonam Anaebonam are already testing the waters of what the future holds.
As a passing shot for the Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech), Lagos where they just finished their photography courses, the two young photo artists are currently exhibiting at the SADP Gallery inside the school. The show titled Vibration of the Mind; Through the Camera’s View, which opened a week ago runs through July 27, 2007. 
   With 15 works each, the artists presented scenery captured across the country. Their roving lenses combine the beauty of nature with the squalor of the environment. The environmental nuisance brings to fore man’s neglect and violation of nature’s resources.
 Anaebonam’s capture of the good, bad and ugly sides of Lagos include the filth in Baale, Orile Iganmu, where the pigs, caught in action, also have a say in the running of affairs of that community.  Quite an irony that policymakers are very much conscious of this part of Lagos, so suggests a sign that politicians, during electioneering campaigns, located this filthy sites: in frame of one of the exhibits is a copy of poster of a gubernatorial candidate in Lagos, posted on the falling wall of the house.
  Sometimes filth can look attractive in picture. This is what animal skin (ponmo in local parlance), displayed by a seller in the open air at one of Lagos’ notorious spots, Oshodi explains. Anaebonam’s aerial shot of the scene really stress the message that questions our sense of hygiene in this part  of the world. 

  And as you make your entry into the ‘State of Aquatic Splendour’ from the Lagos-Ibadan Express Way end, the slaughterings that hold on the right, at the Ogun State side of the border, did not escape Anaebonam’s lens. One cannot but link the  display of ponmo at Oshodi with this slab scene, as apparently, this must be the process, from which the finished ponmo emerged.
   But the artist, spiritually, reflects: "I was seeing a judgment day." Documenting Lagos without the aroma of Indian hemp in the air is apparently an incomplete project. Anaebonam knows this. From a back view shot, he freezes the smoke of a stick of hemp (igbo in local parlance) before it escapes in to the air, just as the smoker admires his burning wrap.

  In Okpela, Benin, Kasim’s lens find attraction in some cultural heritage, and rocks. Part of her silhouette series at the show are the uncommon angle of the third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, creeping in to her shot as the Makoko ends of the Ebute Meta and timber depot defaced the beauty of the ocean. 
The silhouette series, she says, are part of her experimentation into that aesthetic area of photography.
Kasim holds a Diploma in Banking and Finance, from University of Benin, but in 2005, opted for photography "as a result of my love for visual art."
   She was part of the Goethe Institut’s recent photo show, Nocturnal Vibration and a photo workshop involving visiting Nigerian and Germany-based photographer, Akinbode Akinbiyi in 2006.
   Anaebonam studied Business Administration at the University of Lagos, but said he was inspired by a renowned photo journalist, Sunmi Smart Cole.

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