fugitive frequency episode 12: a vernacular power play with Aderemi Adegbite

A certificate of incorporation from the Federal Republic of Nigeria registering the Tutuola Institute.

Aderemi Adegbite is an artist and curator from Lagos, Nigeria, who founded the Tutùolà Institute, a legal non-profit arts platform pursuing Yoruba cultural diplomacy launched at ‘White Money’, produced by Flinn Works at Sophiensaele Berlin, 17–20 November 2021. He is also the founder of the Vernacular Art-Space Laboratory [Instagram] in Lagos, who will host the Iwaya Community Art Biennial 10–18 December 2021. We discussed the power dynamics of European cultural funding in Nigeria, and more broadly speaking in the so-called ‘Global South’, that prompted him to found the Tutùolà Institute. Its inaugural exhibition as part of ‘White Money’ featured Candice Breitz, Mario Pfeifer, Aline Motta and Rehema Chachage.

There’s a joke that curators secretly desire to curate their record collections, and in Berlin Aderemi did just that! Tutùolà Institute presented a selection of the hundreds of LPs it has in its collection from Nigerian labels such as Jofabro, featuring styles such as Apala, High Life, Waka and more. The music selected for this episode takes cues from what I handled and heard at the exhibition, featuring: Adeleke Aremu & His Group, Alhaja Queen Salawa Abeni & Her Waka Funky Modernisers, Ayisatu Alabi & Her Group, E.C. Arinze & His Music, Jolly Orchestra, Fela Ransome Kuti & Africa 70, Godwin Ezike & The Ambassadors, Hadji Amusa & Hadji Mustafa, The Sahara All Stars, Zeal Onyia & His Music.

Music and media used in this episode

Channel 4 News, ‘Young queer Nigerians taking a stand’ 13 October 2021