Saro-Wiwa, Zina


Nigerian, b. 1976; lives and works in New York City and the Niger Delta, Nigeria


Zina Saro-Wiwa, the daughter of a noted Nigerian writer and activist, was born in Port Harcourt and raised in England. In 2013 she returned to the Niger Delta for the first time in over a decade to live and work full time, establishing a public project space for visual art and making some of the most compelling work of her career.

Deeply invested in all social aspects of culture and community in the Niger Delta, Zina Saro-Wiwa unflinchingly humanizes and expands on widespread imagery that characterizes this oil-rich region of Nigeria as a site of exploitation and environmental ruin. This intention is present, interwoven with the mundane, in Table Manners, in which eight subjects from Ogoniland, Nigeria, each eat a customary local meals from start to finish. Burps, loud crunches, gulps and sighs of satisfaction provide an intimate soundtrack that precipitates feelings ranging from nostalgia to fascination—and allow the viewer to immerse oneself into aspects of culture and community in the Niger Delta.

Artworks by Saro-Wiwa, Zina

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