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Artist Production Period

New York, NY — September 2, 2021
The Fellowship Cohort is undergoing design production and will be doing so until October 2021. Currently, the U.S. and Nigerian Fellows are creating a series of installations and sculptures. All creative outputs will be exhibited online in November and December of 2021, followed by an artist talk.
Nurture in the Life of an Indigenous Person:
“Nurture in the Life of an Indigenous Person will look at exploring environmental stability and indigenous futurism by focusing on the younger generation, how they are raised from birth through to their formative years. By integrating natural and sustainable based artistic mediums into their lives, it will shape the mediums they’re drawn to, acting as a source of inspiration for their creativity. With the aim to create a culturally conscious environment where the unborn are raised and surrounded by native, locally sourced, re-purposed elements created by our people and for our people as well as create a nostalgic environment for other indigenous stakeholders. Overall, the project will celebrate our way of life showcasing architectural, design and art intellect by addressing three aspects – Safety, Impact, and Expressions
Safety (Industrial design and architecture); This is one of the immediate concerns of living in Lagos; how can we ensure our safety and environmental stability through indigenous methods despite a lack of infrastructure, policies and urban planning? Nigeria today has become a place where the living spaces are getting smaller, overcrowded and generally more hazardous especially for children in urban areas.
We intend to turn back the hands of time and explore how we lived in pre colonial times e.g face me I Face you, pooling and utilizing the natural resources around them to create a way of life that’s more affordable and sustainable to prove the redundancy of western influence. We will be creating contemporary design solutions with domestic elements that will shape the experiences of a child from birth, through innovative design of safe living spaces, products, furniture and its environs.
Impact (Photography, Art, Film and Music)- Here we will demonstrate the need to remodel our education system and re-education of indigenous peoples to better cater to our needs and tell the truth of our past so we may learn from them. We will employ the old ways of communicating such as folklore, praise poetry (Oriki), music as well as engaging in open dialogue of what it is to be Nigerian. Our understanding of  natural resources and their applications will be challenged through disruptive art forms, research and experiments that will pave the way for environmental sustainability. The future of art, music, photography and other forms of creative expressions is to celebrate every way of life in its most natural state, appreciating them as cultures and lifestyles intertwined yet respecting our differences as indigenous people taking our rightful place as its driving force. Our voice and work matter.
Expressions (Sculpture, Architecture, Film, Fashion Design and Pattern Design)-  We express ourselves in the way we live our lives; from the items in our homes to our daily lives. The environment in which children are raised have a huge impact on the way they express themselves and grow. Documenting the lives of certain Nigerians in rural areas will give insight into the true core needs as nurturers, people that are living in areas that rely on materials and methods from generations past. Also look at past architectural building methods that have sustained the test of time even in urban areas of Nigeria such as Lagos e.g Bamboo scaffolding. As a society, how we dress says a lot about who we are, our past, present and future. It’s the most personal form of expression, true to our environment and how we see ourselves. Our designers will create elements that celebrate our local materials using local methods e.g.Aso-oke, Adire.
Our artists will express through different mediums inspiring contents for the younger generation to see themselves for who they are in a positive light, a beacon of hope.”
“For time immoral, Indigenous women have planned for future generations to uphold traditional teachings and cultural practices. Indigenous futurism is a constant growing movement where we can introduce a variety of environmental stability. We plan to have a focus on Indigenous plants that represent the past, present, and future. We want to emphasize the importance of Indigenous futurism, as these plants promote biodiversity and stewardship of the natural heritage.
We will also utilize our cultures as a vehicle to expand discourse on Fort Lewis Campus. By working together, we will be able to create an environment conducive to effective collaboration. Both Shasta and Madeline have previous leadership experience and have worked together on projects so this will be a great time to explore our collaboration skills.
For this project, we will be creating 3 plexiglass mural pieces that will hang in the main library of Fort Lewis College campus. We will be highlighting the diverse vegetation in the surrounding four corners area. We want to paint different plants from the local area along with their names and a brief statement about the importance of Indigenous plants, sustainability, and environmental stability.”

Related News

The Soul of Nations Foundation (SONF) has received a small grant from the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia for the Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project. The Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project coincides with the U.S. Embassy La Paz Public Affairs Section’s program priority to Strengthen cultural and educational ties between the U.S. and Bolivia through cultural and change programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. The project also falls in alignment with the U.S. Embassy La Paz Public Affairs Section’s mission to promote culture by supporting and facilitating academic exchanges between the United States and Bolivia.
The Soul of Nations Foundation’s Indigenous International: Green Architecture Project is inviting 13 Women Artist Fellows from the United States and Nigeria to connect through a seven-month virtual exchange that will result in two collaborative online exhibitions. All artists and architects involved in the project should be between the ages of 18-35 and identify with an Indigenous tribe or nation. All Nigerian Fellows should reside in the city of Lagos and all U.S. Fellows should be of Native American decent. This program is sponsored in-part by the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, Nigeria and the U.S. Department of State.

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