Multitalented artist, Akeem Lasisi, has said that his vision for African Citations, an exhibition of poetic tributes he is holding on December 10, has the potential to expand horizon for the genre.
According to him, it will connect poetry with newer audiences.
African Citations, which will hold at the MUSON Centre, Lagos, will present poetic tributes to outstanding personalities – individuals and institutions – across Africa. These will come in the forms of poems on frames, musical and video presentations as well as live performances.
“As I have always tried to do, I want poetry to travel beyond the confines of poets and other intellectuals. I want more people to have access to it, enjoy its beauty, own it and contribute to its expansion,” Lasisi says in a chat with co-traveller in the arts, Ropo Ewenla.
He adds that he foresees a situation more people will embrace the performative potential of poetry, noting that African poetry is originally spontaneous, oral and people-oriented.
Lasisi says, “As the world particularly radically goes digital, we have no excuse not deploying all the elements that technology offers to the promotion of our craft. I have been doing this even before this era. Now that the industries are becoming more and more linked, it may just be a time to further navigate the links.
“Besides, I have had encounters with many people and organisations in the course of my about 30 decades of my performances, journalism and teaching adventures. I have performed poetry at many events. I have been commissioned to produce multimedia poetry while I have had cause to admire folks from a distance based on various factors. Some of these have been produced into musical poetry and videos. They have been on air, online etc. Now, the experimentation will berth in a gallery setting so that it becomes more total.”