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Baby Picture

A work-in-progress that examines how, for a generation of south-eastern Nigerians, childhood photographs and home videos, though scarce in or entirely absent from family albums, are ubiquitous in humanitarian archives. In conversation with current elders (who were children during the Biafran War), Baby Picture explores the affordances of these images: should we censor them, given how they abjectified African children for Western audiences, or are we obliged to show them, to bear witness to a shared suffering that was never really grappled with by the Nigerian government in the aftermath of the conflict?

Year: 2022
Length: 12′
Format: Dual channel HD video, Stereo
Languages: Igbo, English
Subtitles: English

BPA 2023. KW Institute for Contemporary Art. Berlin, DE. 2022-3.
Declaration of the Bitter Land. Museum of Modern Art Shanghai. CH. 2023.

a film by: Nnenna Onuoha
Voice: Ogechukwu Ebi
Memories: John Mozie
Telephone: Charles Spiropoulos 
Archival Footage: International Committee of the Red Cross
Archival Photography: World Council of Churches
Supported by:
Embassy of Foreign Artists (CH), Harvard Film Study Centre (USA), Berlin Program for Artists (DE)


BPA Final Exhibition. KW Institute of Contemporary Art. Berlin, DE. 2022-3.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art and BPA// Berlin program for artists are pleased to present the BPA// Exhibition 2022, featuring works that second year BPA// participants produced over the course of their working period with the program. The exhibition takes place on two floors of KW’s front house, and allows for the individual positions as well as for cross-references to be explored.

Declaration of the Bitter Land. Museum of Modern Art Shanghai. CN. 2023.

Whilst images have promoted our understanding and sympathy for faraway suffering since the invention of photography, ethical debates have also been brought to the central ground. Realism (documentary photograph) is seen as a means of satisfying voyeurism; romantic representations are unavoidably disrespectful to historical truth. In an age where images on social media and traumatic events proliferate in tandem, what individuals face is the crisis of perception. Empathy is placed in a back-and-forth pull of extreme sensitivity and numbness, hinting at the ineffectiveness of images as “information”. Questions are raised: “How does imagery witness and respond to the weakening of existing order and traumas that follow? How could we keep exploring a new path in the middle ground between reality/imagination, and individual/collective, to promote a combination of affective and intellectual operations that reactivate our perception of trauma and history both conceptually and physically? How does the way of seeing develop in addressing history/trauma-related imagery?