DiscoverNKATA: Conversations on Art and Processes
NKATA: Conversations on Art and Processes
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NKATA: Conversations on Art and Processes

Author: Emeka Okereke

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NKATA is an Igbo word from the language spoken by the Igbo people of Nigeria. It simply means "Conversation".

Thus this podcast series will feature conversations with selected individuals (artists, cultural operators, and creatives) whose work I have known – some over many years and others, a little less so. What sets them apart is that I consider them and their works to be compelling, engaging and relevant to the time. The idea of this podcast is to have in-depth but also accessible conversations about who these individuals are, their life’s journeys and how this translates into their vocation as creative people. Conversations will depart from exploring the background of the artists' personal history while meandering through key themes, positions, and ideologies central to their works. Each episode will feature one conversation with a selected artist.

Emeka Okereke (Host).
3 Episodes
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Episode two of NKATA sees Emeka Okereke in conversation with Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung. Ndikung (b.1977, Yaoundé) is an independent curator, art critic, author and biotechnologist from Cameroon, who lives and works from out of Berlin. He studied food biotechnology in Berlin, received his doctorate in medical biotechnology and studied biophysics in Montpellier. Ndikung is the artistic director and chief curator of the art space SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin, which he founded in 2009.In this podcast, he speaks about his early years, touching significantly on the events that underlined his move from Cameroon, and subsequently, his travails of living and being a student in Germany in the early 2000s. He gave a glimpse of who his parents are (with particular emphasis on his mother). He goes on to elaborate on his encounter with art and how this lead to the founding of Savvy Contemporary Berlin — a laboratory of Form–Ideas. He breaks down the fundamental concepts and activities at the core of Savvy as well as how far things have come since it was founded in 2009. Throughout the conversation, he makes a strong case for what art and curating means to him as a ”thinking being” moving through the world. The podcast is (loosely) divided into two parts: the first was recorded in a train — during a journey from Berlin to Munich (hence the ambiance of the recording). The second, building on the Berlin-Munich journey and framed by the untimely passing of two giants of contemporary art/fellow curators — Bisi Silva and Okwui Enwezor, was recorded indoors. This part brings him full circle as he talks about the significance of Silva and Enwezor’s death as ”an incredible recalibration” of what life here on earth means for him. This podcast is 111 mins long. Below are time stamps, should you want to skip or navigate to parts of it in your own preferred order. Part 1 (inside the train)03:00: Bonaventure speaks of the early years. His parents. Moving from Cameroon to Germany. Living and being a student in Germany. Finishing a PhD in biotechnology. Early encounter with art and working his way towards becoming a curator. 32:00: Inspiration behind the founding of Savvy Contemporary Berlin and key people behind its foundation. Savvy after 10 years (2009 – 2019). Some core concepts behind Savvy. Savvy as a proactive/subversive platform. Savvy as a space in Berlin: who is your audience? Part 2 (in the studio)67:50: The legacies of Bisi Silva and Okwui Enwezor. The place of their work in the unfolding of history. Their work as paying into a “Trust fund” (for the larger community/society).84:43: Discussing generational continuity: there are people who do the tilling of the soil, while there are those who plant in them. The notion of the institution (institution of the family (nepotism) versus the institution of the community). The place and importance of archive/archiving in the linking of histories. The economy of discovery and the “Christopher Columbus complex”.  The book as Archive. Archive as Process. Reimagining the archive (the apoptotic archive). 101:43: Streams of Consciousness: Being the Artistic Director of the (upcoming) 12th edition of the Bamako Photography Festival. Expounding on the point of departures of the festival’s main concept/theme. 
In this debut episode of NKATA, Emeka Okereke is in conversation with Akinbode Akinbiyi. Akinbiyi (b.1946) is a Berlin-based Nigerian photographer, writer, curator and educator who has been working in the art world/ creative field for over four decades. This conversation touches on several aspects of his life and practice beginning with moments and events that led to and spurred his vocation as an artist. Some noteworthy anchors of the conversation include: the photographer as a wanderer; movement: being grounded while moving;  the act of “listening in”; the inner voice/inner eyes; photography and writing; analog photography in relation to digital; photography as a tool for the expansion of perspectives, but also for ordering and othering; the artist as activist; spirituality: beyond the material world; archiving, posterity, legacy; art and photography as life’s journey; “the young shall grow”: the future and the next generation. This conversation is a canvas upon which various layers of Akinbiyi’s valuable insights, wisdom and sensitivity, accrued over the years, are – true to his nature – unobtrusively stretched out. Are you curious as to who Akinbode Akinbiyi is? Are you an artist filled with unanswered questions about how to cope or stay true to your creative process? What about those who simply want to get a glimpse of how the artist, through personal experiences, weaves logic together by which he remains ever dedicated to his passion, profession, and vocation? This episode of NKATA is for you. Enjoy it! 
In this intro episode, Emeka Okereke – the host of the program – introduces himself as well as the podcast series. He gave some pointers as to what the podcast program will be all about. Watch out for episode 1
Comments (1)

CCbenji

This is brilliant. Subscribed and waiting for the podcasts!

Feb 25th
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