Who is Karimah Ashadu?

Karimah Ashadu (b. 1985) is a British-Nigerian artist and filmmaker born in the UK. She lives and works between Lagos and Hamburg.

What characterizes Ashadu's work?

In her work, Ashadu explores labor and self-determination practices within the context of the social, economic and cultural circumstances prevailing in Nigeria and its diaspora.

Her research and creative focus is directed towards unveiling and understanding the post-colonial history of former European colonies and how knowledge of their plight can assist in decolonization efforts.

Ashadu is primarily known for her video art practice, but she also makes installations and sculptures. Her earliest video works often featured devices that she crafted herself and which condition the field of view of her camera in unexpected ways, such as the large red bottle she upcycled into a lens filter in King of Boys (Abattoir of Makoko) (2015).

What characterized Ashadu's early career?

Ashadu received a BA in painting and video at University of Reading in 2007, and in 2011 she received a MA in spatial design at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. From 2014 to 2016 she did advanced studies at De Ateliers in Amsterdam.

Her early moving image works Lagos Island (2012) and Lagos Sand Merchants (2013) were featured at European Media Art Festival in Osnabruck and Ann Arbor Film Festival and established her reputation in the world of avant-garde film and video art. Her works are in the collections of Museum of Modern Art in New York and Kunsthalle Bremen.

What are some notable exhibitions featuring work by Ashadu?

Ashadu has had solo exhibitions at De Ateliers in Amsterdam, Produzentengalerie in Hamburg and Galerie Ursula Walter in Dresden. Her first group exhibition was at Bozar Center for Fine Arts in Brussels in 2016.

Recent exhibitions include at the 60th Venice Biennale, M. Bassy in Hamburg, Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg and others.

Her first solo exhibition in the UK has been announced at Camden Art Centre in London.

What awards has Ashadu won?

Ashadu has won the following awards: ars viva Prize (2019); Contemporary Art Prize, Rotary Club Bonn, Novara and Strasbourg (2020); Prize of the Böttcherstraße (2022); Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale (2024).

Machine Boys, Karimah Ashadu, 2024. Courtesy of the artist.

What projects is Ashadu involved in?

Ashadu is currently working on Saltmine, a feature film that depicts the life of Jàmbaar, a salt miner from Dakar, the uncertainty of work at the salt mine, and the search for his brother in Hamburg.

Ashadu is also operating a boutique production company called Golddust by Ashadu, which is dedicated to supporting Black film artists and video artists in Africa.

Where can I find more information about Ashadu?

For more information on Ashadu you can check her artist site and the site for Golddust by Ashadu, her production company. Read a recent interview that covers a majority of her career at Brooklyn Rail.

The link has been copied!