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Sokari Douglas Camp: My Public Sculpture Protests & Indomitable Battle Bus!

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Public Monument and Sculpture Association,

70, Cowcross Street

Farringdon

London

EC1M 6EJ

United Kingdom

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A talk by Nigerian-born artist Sokari Douglas Camp CBE about her public sculpture and her protest memorial, Ken Saro-Wiwa's Battle Bus

Sokari's work is provocative and often controversial, highlighting and confronting political issues. In this talk she will speak about her public sculpture, including her Trafalgar Square fourth plinth proposal, No-o-war-r, No-o-war-r, and All the World is now Richer, commissioned by the Diaspora Pavilion for the Venice Biennale. Sokari's talk will culminate with her 'Living memorial' to Ken Saro-Wiwa, the indomitable Battle Bus, which symbolises the power and politics of her sculpture.

Supported by the Arts Council, the bus toured the UK standing outside the Guardian offices in London and displayed at the Arnolfini in Bristol to much acclaim.

Sokari explains the story:

"In 2005, I was commissioned by Platform to make a memorial for the environmental activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa, ten years after he was sentenced to death for campaigning for cleaner oil extraction in the Niger Delta. I was born in the Niger Delta and felt strongly that his legacy should not be forgotten. My sculpture Battle Bus was created to campaign like political Battle Buses all over the world. It was emblazoned with Ken’s words 'I accuse the oil companies of practising genocide against the Ogoni' and the sculpture also had the names of the other eight Ogoni activists who lost their lives at the same time as Ken. In 2015, Battle Bus was requested by the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) to be sent to Nigeria. They wanted it to be the symbol of a renewed campaign to encourage the clean up of the pollution in the Niger Delta. The Bus was impounded as soon as it arrived, seized by Nigerian customs. The government still refuse to release the Bus! They claimed that Ken’s words would encourage violence in the country.

The Bus is a symbol - can art and thought be stopped? ".

Sokari's talk will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with panel members:

David A. Bailey, Director, International Curators Forum (ICF)

Gerard Houghton, October Gallery

Dr. Michael McMillan, playwright, artist-curator and scholar of Caribbean heritage.

Jane Trowell, Arts Activist, Platform, commissioners of Battle Bus.

For further background:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/05/ken-saro-wiwa-memorial-art-bus-denied-entry-to-nigeria

http://newswirengr.com/2018/02/21/is-the-nigerian-customs-trying-to-suppress-the-memory-of-the-ogoni-9-executions/#


Photo: Sokari Douglas-Camp, Battle Bus outside the Stephen Lawrence Centre, Deptford, courtesy of Platform.
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Public Monument and Sculpture Association,

70, Cowcross Street

Farringdon

London

EC1M 6EJ

United Kingdom

View Map

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