From 13/10/2022 to 12/11/2022
🗓️ Date: 13/10/2022
🕚 Time: 11.30 am
🎟️ Free entrance
📍 Venue: Alliance Française Port Harcourt – 20 Herbert Macauley Street – Amadi Flats – Old GRA – Port Harcourt – Rivers State – Nigeria
💬 Contact for enquiries: +234 803 960 0356
GAME OF CONFIDENCE
When boxers come into the gym, they reach a sanctuary. Even more than a protective shield against violence and hardship, female boxers encounter a place for empowerment, where they can build their mind, body and soul. Be it a couple of punch bags and tyres hanging on Bariga’s dust, or a ring tucked within a 9-storey building in Victoria Island – the gym works as a school of morality. Hard work, dedication, endurance and focus are the core values of boxing practice. But it is also a game of confidence and love, a place where one can find sisterhood. Alongside individual perseverance, the shared experience of training, sparring and competing produces one as a worthy fighter.
Even though pioneer Nigerian sportswomen partook in sports in the 1940s, today, boxing remains closely intertwined with masculinity and virility. Thus, Nigerian female boxers are truly transgressive, throwing a timely punch at sports patriarchy. The six women at the core of this exhibition all train and fight in Lagos. Coming from different social backgrounds, some enter high-ranked national championships, while others practice to build self-confidence or overcome their past. Witnessing their strength allows one to get a glimpse of the countless possibilities opened by women, in Nigeria and abroad.
Taiwo Aina and Claire Nicolas, 8th of March, 2022.
To create the photographic project “Game of Confidence”, Taiwo Aina , Nigerian visual story teller from Abuja and Claire Nicolas, French social scientist from London, worked together during a residency hosted last March at Alliance française de Lagos / Mike Adenuga Centre.
Taiwo Aina learnt photography from her high school days and has developed interest for creativeportraiture since. She is a member of the African Photojournalism Database, a joint project by World Press Photo and Everyday Africa. She is also taking part in the Black Women Photographers project and was selected for “Up Next Photographers” in 2020. Taiwo Aina’s work has been selected in Colorado, USA (2021).
Claire Nicolas published papers on gender and sports in West Africa in various academic journals. She completed her PhD at Lausanne University in 2019. She is now a postdoctoral Fellow from the @swissnationalsciencefoundation and currently based at the Department of History of @kclhistory, London. She is currently working on her first monograph: “Une si longue route : sport, genre et citoyenneté au Ghana et en Côte d’Ivoire”.
FRA-Nigeria organised a presentation of an art and research project by Taiwo Aina (Photographer, Visual Artist, Lagos) and Claire Nicolas (Postdoctoral Researcher in History, London). They presented their residency project on Lagos women boxers. In this project, they question gendered pathways and the ‘morality school’ of the gym(s).
The conference took place on Tuesday, March 1st, 2022, at 4pm, at Drapers Hall, Insitute of African Studies, University of Ibadan.
Video of the conference: