Queering the Subversive Dye: Thoughts on Textile and Gender was the second event in a two-part series hosted by Miriam Bettin to mark the end of her residency at G.A.S. It followed on from Aso là ´nkí, kí a tó ki ènìyàn – We greet the cloth before we greet its wearer, an exhibition held at the G.A.S. Farm House two days prior, and allowed those who were unable to make the trip to Ijebu to view the selected works in Lagos.
From L-R Miriam Bettin, Dolapo Osunsina, Adebayo Quadry-Adekanbi, Adeju Thompson, Matthew Blaise and Zee.
The event revolved around a conversation with Matthew Blaise, Dolapo Osunsina, Adebayo Quadry-Adekanbi, Zee and Adeju Thompson that was focused on textiles and gender whilst touching on questions of spiritual practices, pre-colonial queer politics, gender identities and performance, as well as degendering fashion. The programme also included a screening of When ORISHAS Unite (2022) by King Duke.
Work on display by Bubu Ogisi, Adeju Thompson, Nengi Omuku and Peju Layiwola.
Taking the history of West African fabrics, rituals, and crafts as a starting point, the project sought to foreground intersectional Black and queer perspectives and discourses that "break the misconception that queerness is a Western construct" (Adeju Thompson, Lagos Space Program). Instead, it suggested that traditional religions central to Yorùbá, Igbo, and Hausa cultures, embrace and celebrate non-binary gender roles in the form of crossdressing, gender-bending, and shapeshifting in their cosmology, masquerade, and performance rituals, thus questioning whether pre-colonial African society has not always been queer.
Queering the Subversive Dye: Thoughts on Textile and Gender
A Conversation with Matthew Blaise, Zee, Dolapo Osunsina, Adebayo Quadry-Adekanbi and Adeju Thompson and a screening of When ORISHAS Unite (2022) by King Duke
Moderated by Miriam Bettin
Date: Saturday 3rd December 2022
Location: G.A.S. Lagos
Miriam Bettin would like to extend her thanks to the artists, lenders, gallerists, researchers, activists, writers, architects, and designers for their contributions, and to MOE+ Art Architecture, A Whitespace Creative Agency, hFACTOR, This Is Us, the Goethe-Institut Nigeria, CCA Lagos, and G.A.S. Foundation for their advice and support.