Event Recap: Artistic Empowerment Through Blockchain Technology (NFTs)

Event Recap: Artistic Empowerment Through Blockchain Technology (NFTs)

A talk and interactive demonstration of Blockchain Technology.

On Friday, January 26th, 2024, G.A.S. Lagos hosted an evening dedicated to the fusion of art and blockchain technology. Initiated by our Economists in Residence, Victor Svensson and Eric Oetterli, it brought together a panel of contributors, including specialized artists, and practitioners, working with blockchain from the Nigerian space. Together, the panel explored the opportunities within their ecosystem that can be leveraged in artistic practices.



Broken up into three segments, the first opened up with the theoretical framework of blockchain technology. This segment delved into its history, significance and functionality, and use cases. This session was followed by a panel discussion  consisting of Anthony Azekwoh, a contemporary artist and author based in Lagos, who has had great success in the NFT art space; Odion Tobi, a digital artist with a specific focus on 3D art; and Chike Okonkwo, a co-founder of Gamic, a decentralized social community platform catering to gamers, NFT artists, and content creators, among others. The session then culminated with a short quiz in the form of a friendly game of Kahoot. The community-building exercise served to foster connections among like-minded individuals in attendance.



















Event Details

Title:  Artistic Empowerment Through Blockchain Technology (NFTs)
Date: January 26th, 2024
Time: 5:00 - 7:00 pm 
Venue: G.A.S. Foundation, 9b Hakeem Dickson Drive, off TF Kuboye Rd, Oniru, Lagos.



About Victor Svensson and Eric Oetterli

Victor Svensson and Eric Oetterli are final year Bachelors students at Stockholm School of Economics, where they are both recipients of the Yinka Shonibare Thesis Scholarship at the Stockholm School of Economics.

Victor, 23, hailing from Linköping, is driven by a passion for financial inclusion. He has gained experience in start-ups and established financial institutions alongside his studies at SSE. Eric, 22, is deeply passionate about personal finance, financial inclusion, corporate finance, and global economics. He won the Swedish National Championship in Economics in 2022, and has gained practical experience in various Swedish financial institutions. 




Anthony Azekwoh

Anthony Azekwoh (b. 2000) is a contemporary artist and author based in Lagos, Nigeria. His work primarily focuses on African folklore and mythology, using these themes and figures to tell stories of his country, transformation, and change. Anthony is familiar with change; teaching himself how to draw as a child after solely being a writer; dropping out of school to pursue his art career; and working between digital and traditional, painting and sculpting. Change has been a common theme in his work that he has explored with diverse subjects and mediums.

His recent endeavors include a second solo exhibition, There is a Country, which has toured Lagos, London, New York, and Abuja, gaining critical acclaim worldwide. This exhibition further cements Azekwoh's place in the global art scene, showcasing his unique ability to blend traditional techniques with digital mediums, thereby blurring the boundaries between the two. His art is not just a visual feast but a narrative tool, condensing the African experience into universal stories that resonate globally. Anthony’s work replicates traditional techniques through digital mediums, and blurs the boundary between both by producing physical, corporeal manifestations of his work. Technology is an instrumental part of his practice, as he believes it has been a catalyst for Africans especially to find their creative voices and pursue careers in the arts that can be looked upon with stigma.



Odion Tobi

Odion Tobi is a visionary visual artist celebrated for his afro-centric and surrealistic designs. Recently featured at the Coin Geek conference in New York, he explores digital arts and the NFT space. Inspired by childhood encounters with art, Odion's journey led him to 3D design using tools like Cinema 4D and Blender. He emphasizes the emotional depth in his creations and notes a perceived divide between digital and traditional artists in Nigeria. He is the founder of the Ideators community, a mentorship platform for African creatives. 



Chike Okonkwo

Chike Okonkwo is a Business Development Consultant actively involved in the African tech, blockchain, and gaming sectors. He collaborates with stakeholders at various levels, domestically and internationally, and has a strong interest in Fintech, digital payments(cryptocurrency), gaming, agriculture, and technology in Nigeria and Africa. Chike contributed significantly to the Pan-African strategy for Thresh0ld.com, a UK-based digital asset transaction security solution, and served as the Lead Business Developer for Africa at OKX, a global crypto exchange. Currently, he is the Co-founder and Business Development Director at Gamic, a decentralized social community platform supported by Binance Labs, catering to gamers, NFT's & content creators, web3 enthusiasts, and educators.




Osinachi (born Prince Jacon Osinachi Igwe) is a self-taught digital artist based in Lagos. One of the earliest adopters of tokenized Africa, he makes artworks that mirror his personal experiences through a unique visual language that he has perfected for over 15 years. His practice has led to conversations around NFTs and how works being produced in the space speak to a larger humanity.

In addition to numerous collaborations with big players in the art world, in 2021 Osinachi became the first African artist to auction five unique NFTs in Europe through Christie’s in a three-way collaboration that also involved 1-54 Art Fair. He is also the creator of the pfp/avatar project Across the Face, which marked the first time two NFT marketplaces would form a partnership for the launch of a singular project.



Jekein Lato-Unah

Born in 1996, Jekein is a versatile artist navigating between Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya. Pioneering the distinctive Jekeinism style, she stands as the sole artist with a unique puzzle-like approach. Embarking on her NFT journey in January 2022, she crafts artworks reflecting her personal journey and the shared experiences of women. Over a decade of honing a visual language, Jekein earned recognition with her work gracing the OpenSea front page within just three months, leading to a collection sell-out surpassing 10 ETH. Not long after, she experienced success on the Tezos platform Objkt.com leading to multiple home page features and thousands of dollars in sales. Beyond her artistic achievements, she mentors aspiring female artists worldwide through the “For Creative Girls” initiative.


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