Launching this month, (October) is IFE NKILI, a new digital arts festival aimed at centring and celebrating the beauty of Black culture, identity and heritage through the creativity of Black women.
“Ife Nkili” is a phrase from the Igbo tribe in Nigeria which means “beauty to behold” and interpreting this notion in her own way is British-Nigerian award-winning visual artist Chin We, who has curated a select list of 17 Black women creatives from around the world. The group of women creatives’ artistic and creative expression will be showcased in the rich and immersive digital festival. Some of the names involved in the festival include world renowned poet Yrsa Daley-Ward, author Elizabeth Okoh and photographer Wasi Daniju.
Speaking exclusively to Melan Magazine, Chin We explained why she wanted to create and launch IFE NKILI. She said: “I wanted to be intentional about highlighting the work of Black women artists and uplifting their voices in a world that often erases them… the festival aims to deconstruct the societal limitations and perceptions of Black women in art, photography, music, film and literature and will be presented in the form of an ongoing continuous performance as each artist follows on seamlessly from each other.”
“I chose these 17 Black women across arts to broaden the audience knowledge of the Black experience and also to provide, showcase and honour what UK Black women artists do. The focus is to promote, develop and celebrate creativity in different genres. IFE NKILI highlights that the work of Black women artists cannot be overstated.”
In her own right, Chin We is an award-winning visual artist and curator. Her work explores themes and issues of social/cultural identity, culture, representation, heritage and the African diaspora through photography, film and mixed media through her platform www.chinweart.com. She brings her unique perspective of her culture and culture to IFE NKILI. “I draw my inspiration from my heritage and identity. My heritage is Igbo and Nigerian which is reflected in my work through the articulation of identity thorough photography and film. I also draw my inspiration from two Black photographers – Seydou Keïta and Malick Sidibé.
So, what can viewers expect on the day? “Attendees can expect to be thrilled by a digital arts festival showcasing amazing artistry, music and expression. For an hour and 20 minutes they will view an amazing online celebration of Black creativity, innovation and inspiration.”
IFE NKILI, which is funded and supported by the Arts Council England, will premier via YOUTUBE at 6pm on 14 October 2021.
Register for your free IFE NKILI tickets here.