In January 2016, our submission for the Anti-Atlas of Borders Art Exhibition in Brussels was accepted for a commission of 500e. We were thrilled and surprised since we’d never imagined our work on mobile platforms, technology, and the borderland biashara could be considered from the arts and culture point of view.
Here is our story in the form of slideshow – each of these was printed in full size and hung on the walls.
After months of hard work, I am very honoured and proud to announced our new digital documentation project by my friend Folake Shoga, a Nigerian/British multidisciplinary artist with more than three decades of experience.
Her window to this world is centered around Ibadan, Nigeria, and she takes us through an illustrated, personally narrated documentary that spans the experience of getting a new dress, from choosing the right fabric, all the way through building a fashion brand.
In July 2009, I was inspired by working in the Research wing of the Aalto University’s Design Factory in Espoo, Finland, to launch a group blog called REculture: Exploring the post-consumption economy of repair, reuse, repurpose and recycle by informal businesses at the Base of the Pyramid*.
Within a year, this research interest evolved into a multidisciplinary look at the culture of innovation and invention under conditions of scarcity and it’s lessons for sustainable manufacturing and industry for us in the context of more industrialized nations.
As a preliminary exploration, my research associate Mikko Koskinen and I timed our visit to Kenya to coincide with the Maker Faire Africa to be held on the grounds of the University of Nairobi in August 2010.
This photographic record of our discoveries (PDF 6MB) among the jua kali artisans and workshops of Nairobi, Nakuru, Thika, and Kithengela, guided by biogas inventor and innovator Dominic Wanjihia captures the essence of the creativity and ingenuity it takes to create without ample resources and adequate infrastructure.
A synopsis of our analysis is available here.
* The publishing platform, Posterous, died a short while later and we lost years of work. I’m looking into reincarnating REculture on Tumblr soon.
October was a busy month for us – The African Development Bank hosted their first Innovation Weekend in Abidjan from the 9th to the 11th of October. Our contribution was thinking about the problems we face as the starting point for new venture design.
Savvy young people from across Francophone West Africa gathered to conceptualize startups over the course of the weekend, culminating in grand prizes and the opportunity to grow into viable businesses. Much excitement.
The startups; PayFree, a multiplex platform for payments; La Ruche, a marketplace for artisans to sell their wares; Coliba, a mobile platform for managing urban waste; and BioPRO, an intervention seeking to help rural people get access to energy and electricity will each receive an AfDB fellowship with Ampion to accelerate these projects to become viable companies.
Continuing with the Francophone flavour, our next big news is introducing our Beninese collaboration – Ms. Yacine Bio-Tchane, who has been blogging in French on the emerging consumer markets in the region. Emerging Futures Lab now has a Francophone West African footprint.
Portrait robot du nouveau consommateur africain
La ruée vers la Côte d’Ivoire des marques internationales
Les taxi-motos, potentiels livreurs en Afrique de l’Ouest
Où se trouvent les plus grands consommateurs en Afrique?
Finally, Senegal hit the headlines with the launch of indigenous wine from the shade of the baobabs.
Nigerian innovators have become a hot trend – Coldhubs is an outdoor solar powered fridge, developed by Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu as a sustainable solution for minimizing post harvest losses faced by farmers. Meanwhile, a team of students from Nnamdi Azikwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, have built a made-in-Nigeria mini bus, which they say is the first of its kind.
And finally, from the Nigerian diaspora, Dr. Samuel Achilefu, has won the prestigious St. Louis Award for 2014 for creating cancer-visualizing glasses.
And to round up this exciting month, we cover the just concluded India Africa Forum Summit, held in New Delhi 26th to 28th October.
India-Africa summit is meant to strengthen trade ties
India is trying to match China’s engagement in the continent
China is accused of exploiting Africa’s natural resources
India isn’t really doing any better than China
It exports 67% consumer goods, 2% raw materials
Imports are mostly raw materials – salt, ores, oil, metals
|OMG I can’t breathe! Photographed hyperventilating with the guy responsible for my phone’s design, Peter Griffith at the Nokia “Connecting the Next Billion” Emerging Markets Strategy Workshop in London, May 2011.|
If I thought I could get away with it, I would tiptoe out of the room right now. Michael Davis-Burchat has just yelled out on Twitter, asking me what I think of today’s bombshell extravaganza of speculation and dealmaking. Mike’s on vacation but imagine returning to work to discover you’re now working for Microsoft. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!
*tiptoes out of the sauna, grabbing the Koskenkorva on the way out*
I can’t find anything online and I didn’t get a chance to get a closeup of the board over there so I have no idea who the artist is. But apparently this is the lifelike statue of the man who stood down a tank in Tiananmen Square.
Can’t you feel him drawing in the power of his indomitable chi?
I was transfixed when I saw it at the angle of the first photograph. This is in Utrecht Centraal Station’s Hoog Catherijn mall towards Venderberg.