June 26 – 27, 2021
“Twins Talking to Twins” with Dr. Kole Ade Odutola – June 26
“Edunjobi” (Film Screening) & Q&A with Qudus Onikeku and Professor Ahmed Yerima – June 27
Curated by Oluwasayo Taiwo Olowo-Ake
Full event information & registration here: https://www.orukominireinterpretingibeji.org/
Oruko mi ni, (My name is) presents Yoruba knowledges to redirect the focus from Ere Ibeji (Yoruba wooden twin figure) to the cultural traditions surrounding Ibeji (Yoruba twins). Ere Ibeji is a wooden figure carved in honour of a twin who died and is the dominant visual material that Western collections associate with Yoruba twins from Nigeria. Yorubas believe that twins share a soul: the family treats the carved figure as they would if the twin was still physically present. As a result, the twin is fed, washed, and cared for in a domestic setting.
Focusing on Yoruba oral tradition and narratives, Oruko mi ni asks how we can view Ibeji with tools from their place of origin, not looking to Western collections to tell Ibeji stories. Furthermore, where can the Yoruba understanding of history, twinship and documentation practice lead us? Can the Yorubas’ knowledge of Ibeji inform how we reorient ourselves in relation to the world?
Oruko mi ni will be held in two parts. The first will be online with Afropolis.org as a two-day event (26-27th June 2021) that brings together playwright Prof. Ahmed Yerima, scholar Dr. Kole Ade-Odutola and dancer Qudus Onikeku, to emphasize that these knowledges surrounding Ibeji have their origin in oral tradition. The second part is embedded within an exhibition called Sankofa: African Routes, Canadian Roots, at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology (October 21, 2021- March 27, 2022) and will include Ere Ibeji from the MOA collection contextualized by contemporary photography of twins by Nigerian photographer, Stephen Tayo.
Oruko mi ni: Reinterpreting Ibeji is curated by Oluwasayo Taiwo Olowo-Ake, a candidate for the MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies at the University of British Columbia. The project is presented by Afropolis.org with support from the Killy Foundation and the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies through the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory in collaboration with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia.
Public critique with Dr. Julie Crooks to be held at 3pm June 29, 2021 on Zoom