To mark their return to G.A.S. Lagos, Raymond Pinto hosted Bridging Wildlife Conservation and Creative Expression, a panel discussion with Chidi Mogbo, the founder of the Green Fingers Foundation. The evening leveraged Pinto's practice to provoke conversations on iconography, ecology, sustainability, wildlife conservation, and preservation, providing a lens through which the audience could explore the intersectionality between the embodied emotions inherent in a wildlife-centric ecological practice and a movement-based arts practice drawing inspiration from African material culture.
Guided by their ethnographic and anthropological fascination with Yoruba material culture, Raymond forged a connection with wildlife conservation while researching the Yoruba tradition of Gelede, where masks held paramount significance. Notably, they gained access to several masks, including the Yale University Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Gelede mask featuring pangolin figurines—the most trafficked mammal today. This exploration led Raymond to collaborate with the Green Fingers Foundation wildlife conservation NGO in Lagos, situated in Lekki. In this initiative, Raymond seeks to raise awareness about this crucial species integral to Nigeria's ecosystem.
Centred on environmental advocacy and wildlife preservation, the event featured dialogues highlighting the Foundation's endeavours to conserve, rehabilitate, and reintegrate endangered pangolins into the wild, as well as screenings of two films by the Foundation. The Green Fingers Foundation is also well known for utilizing creative outlets such as comic series, upcycled fashion shows, and various initiatives to amplify its advocacy and cement its commitment to raising awareness.
Gelede Mask with Two Male Figures and a Pangolin. Artist: Fagbite Asamu, or his son (died circa 1970) Artist: Falola Edun (born 1900). Photo via Yale University Art Gallery.
Date: Thursday, February 1st, 2024
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Venue: G.A.S. Foundation, 9b, Hakeem Dickson Drive, off TF Kuboye Road, Oniru, Lagos.
ABOUT THE PANELLISTS
Raymond Pinto is a multidisciplinary artist. They are a graduate of the Juilliard School of Dance and from New York University in Performance Studies. They are currently a fellow at The Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop and Harvestworks in NYC.
Chinedu Mogbo was born in Nigeria and was raised with a love for animals. After being fortunate enough to study Biomedical Science and Public Health in the UK, Chinedu was able to go back to his own country and start building the Greenfingers Wildlife Conservation Initiative. The project works towards the rescue and rehabilitation of the country's endangered species, as well as conducting outreach programs within the local communities.