“Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographic Initiative is an art-led initiative, founded in Nigeria in 2009 by passionate Nigerian artists – mostly photographers – with a drive and urge to effect change in the society. It was registered in 2011 under the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria as Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographers Organisation. The vision of the initiative is to become a symbol of networking and trans-border associations within the arts and photography in Africa, but also to become a stepping-stone platform for young immerging talents in the continent in such a way that it creates a breeding ground for young artist to be thinking beyond borders at the beginning stage of their creative quest.
The mission of the Initiative is to tell Africa’s stories, by Africans, through photography and inspiring artistic interventions; to encourage exposure of upcoming African photographers towards art and photography as practiced in other parts of the continent.; to establish a platform that encourages and embraces trans- African artistic relationships within the continent, and to contribute towards the socio-political discourse shaping Africa of the 21st Century.
Their goal is to constantly spread and share knowledge and information, cutting across the demarcating lines of classes and proficiency in literacy, thereby expanding the art public to include more of the local audience and the “layman”.
Their activities aim to cut through the local, national and international, and to create points of interactions between these levels, hence the name Invisible Borders. The main activity /project of the Initiative since its foundation has been The Invisible Borders Trans-African Road Trip Project, a project where about a dozen artists/photographers collectively take road trip across Africa to explore and participate in various photographic events, festival and exhibitions while engaging on a daily basis with the environment and the people encountered. The emphasis is primarily on the collective journey of the participating artists who, during their momentary stops in capital cities, create photographic, video and textual works that often reflect their individual approach to engaging with local artists, art practitioners and the inhabitants. They also collaborate intensively with colleagues from each of the countries involved.
Participants of Invisible Borders are dedicated to creating works, which portray the dynamism, richness as well as contradictions of the various modes of existence of the African people. In doing this, they reject a simplified notion of Africa nor a tidy definition of it, but instead hopes to create an archive of works which “complicates” the depiction of contemporary Africa, one which sees the continent as work-in-progress, rather than a foregone conclusion.
We can therefore see the Invisible Borders Road trip as a workshop of artistic creation and a performative social intervention all rolled into one. Moreover it offers that unique experience of “learning in motion” and discovering oneself through interactions with diverse encounters by constantly altering one’s own reality through constant movement. Check out their film!