The French artist revisits the fate of the Chibok girls in his new exhibition

French multidisciplinary artist Prune Nuorry on Saturday opened a landmark exhibition in Lagos in collaboration with the Department of Fine and Applied Arts. Obafemi Awolowo University and the families of the Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria in 2014.

Ms. Nouri specializes in sculpture and explores a wide range of media, particularly through installations that include photography, film and performance.

Inspired by the ancient terracotta heads of Ife, as well as the Breathe sculptures, the collaboration aims to raise awareness of the plight of Chibok girls who are still missing, while highlighting the global fight for girls’ education.

The exhibition held at the Art Twenty-One Gallery, Eko Hotels, Lagos, showcased 108 sculpted heads created by Mrs. Nuri and art students of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, AAU.

Eight years later, most of the girls are still in captivity and the world seems to have forgotten them, the cast is remembered through the show.

Explaining the reasons for implementing this project, Ms. Nuri said: “When I first heard about the Chibok Girls, I was traveling in China with the Girls Army Charity Society called Terracotta Girls and I heard about Eve’s Heads.

Nori filling

He shines a light on his desire to visit the House. “As a sculptor, it was my dream to one day go to Eve’s house and work with clay.

“It was love at first sight with the teachers and we share the same philosophy of interdisciplinary transfer, so we decided to do this project with 108 students, inspired by the ife heads but especially mixed with the images of the Chibok girls. »

He explained that the parents gave them pictures of the children and carved their heads.

Regarding the international distribution of the fictional narrative, she said: “The idea is to go around the world with the army and show all the heads that represent the missing girls of Chibok, but also to talk about girls’ education around the world. »

During the exhibition, a former prisoner from Chibok named Amina took part in the opening of the works.

The work will remain at Art Twenty-One until February 4, 2023 before going on a world tour.

Koji m

According to Nuri, “The Sculpture Show also Breathe” will feature a documentary with the sculptures, allowing all participants to include their unique voices and perspectives, whether teachers, students, parents of the missing girls, or anyone involved in the creative process.


After meeting with the Chibok families to design the project, Nuri said he was entrusted with photographs of their missing daughters and was inspired by the eight heads carved out of clay.

He began creating portraits of high school girls depicted in the region’s popular Baba Bash Eve style.

According to him, 108 heads out of these eight original statues that were later made were made from clay sourced from Ile-Ife by potters of women potters society in Ilorin, Yoruba and students of Obafemi Awolowo University.

Amina Ali
Amina Ali

On September 30, 2022, a one-day seminar was held at the university. 108 students sculpted each head into unique sculptures using the pictures of the missing girls.

A delegation of mothers of boys and girls from Chibok who managed to escape Boko Haram captivity were also there to pay their respects to their friends and loved ones depicted in the carvings.

Girl Army is indivisible and must remain together as a complete work of art.

The 108 presidents signed by participating students will be displayed in Lagos before traveling the world to commemorate Nigeria’s rich and diverse history and culture and the current challenges we all face as a global community.

The organizers said that at the end of the trip, they will return to the permanent collection of a museum in Africa.

Fresh Ife Art Clay

A Nigerian German singer who is part of the project, Ade Bantu, real name Adegoke Odukoya, revealed that when he searched for Ife terracotta potters, he found none even though Ife is a town where terracotta heads are produced.

Adi Bantu
Adi Bantu

He said: “When I went to Ile-Ife to look for craftsmen working with clay, nobody was working with clay anymore, so I had to travel around Yoruba country to try to find craftsmen who were still working with clay. I met a women’s community. » Potters.

It also turns out that they bought the clay used from Ile Ife and Mrs. Nuri wanted to use Ife to pay tribute to Ife because the terracotta head of Mrs. Ife is well known.

Okunade Adeyinka, Senior Lecturer in Ceramics, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, OAU, said he enjoyed working on the project.

He noted, “The project was a great experience for us in the department. This is the first of its kind. This is the first time that someone has come to cooperate with us, especially in the ceramics department.”

She said Ms Nuri’s decision to combine the motif of Ife’s terracotta heads with depictions of Chibok girls was remarkable.

In addition, he said the project addresses a social issue and adds to the artistic culture of Ife. She said: “Ife chiefs, we only see them in pictures but this project is more of a reality that brings it to life and uses it to say a lot about Chibok girls. »

“With these heads we can see now, we can easily remember the Chibok girls but we can also see the traditional Ife Ori Oroko heads. »

He added that the department looks forward to more intensive and sustained collaboration as it plans more projects to showcase Yoruba culture.

Wasio Olatund, a student technical assistant for the project, explained that the biggest challenge was emotional trauma and it took his group about two months to complete the project.

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