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Lagos Art x Research Workshop

The first part of the research ‘Youth on the Move’ has been planned as a workshop within the 7th Annual Lagos Studies Association Conference, organised by the Lagos Studies Association (LSA). The Lagos Conference brings together non-academic practitioners and members of the civil society—who are also knowledge producers—into serious conversation. It is a major platform that shapes the trajectory of knowledge on the city while providing a fertile ground to train new generation of Lagos, Nigerian, and African studies scholars and help harmonize the intellectual energies of academics working across multiple fields and disciplines.


The 2023 Lagos Conference is themed around ‘Rethinking Decoloniality: African Decolonization and Epistemologies in the 21st Century’ during June 22-24, 2023, with preconference workshops during June 20-21, 2023.


The ‘Youth on the Move’ workshop is an Art x Research-based event and is a part of the Lagos Studies Association’s Annual Conference 2023. It brings together local performing groups from Lagos, Mumbai and Nairobi together to produce a spatial response to through collaboration and exchange, that shall be performed at the Conference.

Day 1 / 20th June 2023


Session 2 / 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Performing the City: Youth, Popular Arts and Social Movements in Urban Africa Workshop (Part I)

From Occupy Nigeria Movement in 2012 to #EndSARS Protest in 2020, Nigerian youth and their popular art practices are increasingly shaping the course of social and political events through performance, providing the participants with the language and actions necessary to renegotiate their place in society. Across the continent, popular performance arts are also constituting an essential means of knowledge production and forging a new sense of political and cultural identities among the youth. By constructing a repertoire of personal stories and local histories, these practices and movements centralize the body and the living realities as essential sites for decolonial politics, and they demand alternative frameworks for interpreting citizenship and publicness in Africa today.


Echoing the theme of 2023 LSA “Rethinking Decoloniality: African Decolonization and Epistemologies in the 21st Century”, the workshop aims to understand how popular art practitioners in the urban margins interrupt the institutional norms of pedagogical approaches and interrogate the hierarchies of knowledge production. Inspired by the approaches of the Bariga artists who navigate between the streets and the stages, we encourage in-depth dialogues and interactions between art practitioners and art scholars. In particular, we suggest a special off-campus session at different venues in Bariga (e.g. The Art Factory and Ilaje Bus Stop) where the artistic practices are generated and rooted in.


This workshop is part of the Youth on the Move: Performing Urban Space in the Global South Project, sponsored by Urban Studies Foundation Seminar Series Award. In order to help the participants travel between the different venues, we will hire a danfo during the conference to facilitate these “movements” (see also Session 12a and 14b).  



Part I Keynote Speech by Msia Kibona Clark and Launch of Seminar Series ‘Youth on the Move’


Time: June 20th, 3:30pm-5:00pm

Location: Room 14, University of Lagos

Please click here to join the session:


Chairs and Organizers

Ying Cheng (Peking University)

Min Tang (Tongji University)

Anuj Daga (University of Mumbai)


Keynote Speaker

Msia Kibona Clark (Howard University)

Title: Hip Hop, Afrobeats, and the Importance of Genre Classification


Day 2 / 21st June 2023


Session 13 / 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Performing the City: Youth, Popular Arts and Social Movements in Urban Africa Workshop (Part II)

From “Our Area” to “Naija”: Traveling with Young Artists in Bariga

In this session we invite Lagos-based dance and theatre troupes to collaborate with invited artists from Nairobi and Mumbai for a “performative tour” in Iwaya and Bariga, margina communities near Unilag. The artists will take the conference participants to a journey of “informal” artistic spaces in Lagos.


Please note that this session involves off-campus locations in Iwaya and Bariga (not far from Unilag). We will hire a danfo to take the conference participants from MTN Library Foyer, Unilag to Ilaje bus stop, Bariga at around 3:00 pm, after watching the first performance on campus. Then we will stop at Arowolo Street in Iwaya for a second performance. After that, we will head for Awofodo Street in Bariga.

After this performance tour, there will be a roundtable discussion between artists, curators and scholars on performance art as knowledge production at the Art Factory in Bariga.


Chairs and Organizers

Ying Cheng (Peking University)

Min Tang (Tongji University)

Anuj Daga (University of Mumbai)


Invited Artists and Troupes


Stop 1: Unilag

Departing Time: 2:00pm

Ennovate Dance House

‘Afro Communal Offering’

Location: MTN Library Foyer


Stop 2: Iwaya

Departing Time: 3:00pm

IlluminateTheatre Productions and Iwaya Youth

‘Youth on the Move’

Location: 26 Arowolo Street Iwaya, outside the gate of Fazilomar senior high school


Stop 3: Bariga

Crown Troupe of Africa

Departing Time: 3:30pm

‘Progressive Express’ + ‘Iya Oja’

Location: 32 Awofodu Street, off Pedro Road, Bariga

Day 2 / 21st June 2023

Session 17 / 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Performing the City: Youth, Popular Arts and Social Movements in Urban Africa Workshop (Part III)

Street, Stage and Seminar: Performance Art as Knowledge Production (Artists + Curators + Scholars Roundtable Discussion)

Location: The Art Factory in Bariga 

The roundtable gathers urban scholars, curators and young performance artists from Lagos, Nairobi, Mumbai, Beijing and Shanghai for an in-depth dialogue on the multi-layered, mobile “Southern urbanity” and the role of performance art in it. We aim to collaboratively intervene in the theoretical debates around the following questions: how, why, and what are the multiple meanings of youth performing in African urban space; how do performance arts construct alternative ways knowledge production in urban Africa?


Chairs and Organizers

Ying Cheng (Peking University)

Min Tang (Tongji University)

Anuj Daga (University of Mumbai)


Invited Participants

Segun Adefila (Crown Troupe of Africa)

Aderemi Adegbite (Vernacular Art Lab)

Olowu Busayo (Illuminate Theatre Productions)

Obiajulu Ozegbe (Ennovate Dance House)

Msia Kibona Clark (Howard University)

James Yeku (University of Kansas)

Nitesh Patel (7 Bantai'z)

Chelagat Cherwon (Nairobi)

Slum Party

The Echoing Event: An Extension of Collaboration in the 2023


In extension to the programme at LSA, our YOTM Mumbai team consisting of researcher Anuj Daga and Dharavi rap artist Nitesh Patel, stayed in Lagos between 11th-17th July and participated in the 2023 Slum Party initiated by Ennovate Dance House. This annual cultural programme uses dance and the performing arts to address the unrest and violence within the Oworonshoki community. This year’s edition themed “Village of Dreamers” invited artists from Tanzania, India, South Africa, New York, Cameroon, Ghana and various parts of Nigeria to enable a productive exchange and expression of latent insecurities and desires amongst the youth. Artists from Tanzania, India, South Africa, New York, Cameroon, Ghana and various parts of Nigeria. The event has grown to involve international artists and performers from not only the adjoining countries, but also America and Europe.

The fortnight-long workshop culminates in a two-day event that is staged within the streets of the Oworonshoki community, open to the public. The YOTM team took this opportunity to use collaboration as a means to bring the youth of these two similar, yet different contexts to find a common ground for creative contemplation and political action. Two songs were produced through this collaboration between African and Asian artists (including young artists from India, South Africa and India). Two songs were performed at the final event of Slum Party 2023, titled “Village of Dreamers” on 15th July 2023.  These were performed to the Oworonshoki community in one of the neighbourhood streets converted into a theatre.

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