Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?
Hardcover ISBN: 1883015480
Zina Saro-Wiwa: Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance? is the first publication on the work of Zina Saro-Wiwa, a British-Nigerian video artist and filmmaker based in Brooklyn. Occupying the space between documentary and performance, Saro-Wiwa’s videos, photographs, and sound produced in the Niger Delta region of southeastern Nigeria from 2013–2015 explore folklore, masquerade traditions, religious practices, food, and Nigerian popular aesthetics. Engaging Niger Delta residents as subjects and collaborators, Saro-Wiwa cultivates strategies of psychic survival and performance, testing contemporary art’s capacity to transform and to envision new concepts of environment and environmentalism. Known for decades for corruption and environmental degradation, the Niger Delta is one of the largest oil producing regions of the world, and until 2010 provided the United States with a quarter of its oil. Saro-Wiwa returns to this contested region—the place of her birth—to tell new stories. Featuring a guest foreword by Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa; essays by Stephanie LeMenager, Amy L. Powell, and Taiye Selasi; an interview with the artist by Chika Okeke-Agulu; and recipes created by the artist.