Uche Okpa-Iroha, ‘Texas Tea’, Retro Africa


Lagos, Nigeria 2011

There are known conventional systems of communication that are meant to appeal to peoples taste for a product or service, lure and also to educate, direct, inform and instruct the public. These are mainly subliminal adverts and signages in open public spaces.

The series ISOLATED shows some kind of unorthodox means of communication, a departure from the legal, regulated or authorized bill boards in cities, yet forms part of the cities organic elements or appendages that are allowed for only a short while (in our memories). Most of the time they exists as whims and are covered with other materials, painted over or become an integral part of the space/surface (like the algae), wherein they are pasted, nobody really paying attention to them.

These texts are embedded in bills, posters and hand written advertisements. They form the informal codes of our urban communication.

The Lagos cityscape is full of these and they are not uncommon in other African cities, thus giving them their unique outlook.

Lagos is not devoid of such eccentricities/or idiosyncrasies. As Africa’s fastest growing metropolis, Lagos is constantly reshaping its commercial geography – leading to the emergence of a novel urban language with dynamic and organic outlook.

They are mostly in street corners, alleys, private residences, shops, church buildings, electric poles, lintels etc. and subconsciously appeal/or attract the attention of the common folk/or the working class.

Series: Isolated

About Uche Okpa-Iroha

Nigerian, b. 1972, Enugu, Nigeria, based in Lagos, Nigeria

Solo Shows

Tafeta Gallery, 
London, UK,
Uche Okpa-Iroha As "The Plantation Boy"
Lagos Photo Festival, 
Lagos, Nigeria,
LagosPhoto 2013

Group Shows

Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie, 
Bamako, Mali,
10e Rencontres de Bamako
Paris Photo, 
Paris, France,
Paris Photo 2011
Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie, 
Bamako, Mali,
8e Rencontres de Bamako
10th Havana Biennial, 
Havana, Cuba,
10th Havana Biennial