Onyeka Igwe
Thu 6 September – Wed 19 September 2018

Public Preview and Artist talk: Wed 5 September, 6.30-8.30pm

Opening Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm / Sunday 12pm – 3pm

Unit 4: The Cornucopia Room, 4 Towerdykeside, Hawick, TD9 7YF

No Dance, No Palaver is a series of works produced from Onyeka Igwe’s research into the Aba Women’s War of 1929. Made up of three films, the series experiments with archival footage relating to West Africa during the first half of the 20th century.
Informed by the first major anti-colonial uprising in Nigeria, No Dance, No Palaver uses methods of critical proximity and the visual trauma of the colonial archive, in an attempt to transform the way in which we know the people it contains.

The film revisions the Aba Women’s War, the first major anti-colonial uprisings in Nigeria, using embodiment, gesture and the archive. The film is structured around the repurposing of archival films from the British propaganda arm cut against a gestural evocation of the women’s testimonies.

Traditionally, women in Igbo speaking parts of Nigeria, came together to protest the behaviour of men by sitting on or making war on them by adorning themselves with palm fronds, dancing and singing protest songs outside the man in question’s home. This practice became infamous due to its prominence as a tactic in the Aba Women’s War, the 1929 all-woman protest against colonial rule. Two contemporary dancers reimagine the practice, drawing on both archival research and their own experiences.

William Sellers and the Colonial Film Unit developed a framework for colonial cinema, this included slow edits, no camera tricks and minimal camera movement. Hundreds of films were created in accordance to this rule set. In an effort to recuperate black dance from this colonial project, Specialised Technique, attempts to transform this material from studied spectacle to livingness.
Developed with the support of FLAMIN, Arts Council England and the Fenton Arts Trust 

Onyeka Igwe
Onyeka Igwe is an artist filmmaker, programmer and researcher, living and working in London.
In her non-fiction video work Onyeka uses dance, voice, archive and text to expose a multiplicity of narratives. The work explores the physical body and geographical place as sites of cultural and political meaning.
Her video works have shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, Nuit Blanche, Toronto, The Showroom, London, articule, Montreal and Trinity Square Video, Toronto. She has also shown work at the London, Edinburgh Artist Moving Image, Rotterdam International and Hamburg film festivals. In 2017, Onyeka showed the film We Need New Names with Behind The Curtain‘s Feminist Film Club.

Courtesy of the Onyeka Igwe & BFI National Archive