Ashadu Karimah


Karimah Ashadu (born 1985, London, UK) is a British/Nigerian multi-disciplinary Artist. Her practice is research led, and investigates the relationship between movement and narration. This is sometimes conveyed through digital films and interactive architectural mechanisms. These devices probe space, and are fundamental to the introduction of notions like the role of perspective in storytelling. The work is also interested in questioning storytelling in all its guises, including the exchange of information, the rhythms of conversation and the nuances of language. She has exhibited internationally including Europe, America, Asia, Australia and Africa. She lives and works between London and Lagos, Nigeria.

Apapa Amusement Park

201400:02:38Video Art
‘Apapa Amusement Park’ deploys the use of the ‘Rotate 1 Mechanism’ — a rotational architectural device that probes space by altering perception. Once a fully operational playground in Lagos, the amusement park is now abandoned and devoid of its thrills. The film captures a group of teenage boys playing football – momentarily animating the blank space as the eagerness of the game hints at the former fun-filled atmosphere of the park. Made from found objects, the ‘Rotate 1 Mechanism’ takes its cue from the playground’s rotund geometry. As the mechanism is turned by hand, it offers a panorama of the playground. Circles of concrete which once acted as foundations for the playground’s features, now redundantly divide the absent space. The moving image is intercepted by the mechanism’s convex glass, which moves simultaneously with the camera to magnify aspects of the footage – almost like a stutter. This pattern is further enhanced by the editing technique; the moving image is divided into seconds, and then pieced together again to form an almost fluid but disjointed picture. In a sense, this intensified, yet somewhat playful shift in perspective, is almost like a slow pause in a game of tag. As one scene jumps awkwardly to the next, the abruptness essentially becomes a reflection of the playground’s fragmented spatiality.

Lagos Sand Merchants

201400:09:21Video Art
‘Lagos Sand Merchants’ is led by the ‘Rotate 2 Mechanism (Drumroll)’ – a dynamic revolving device that challenges spatial perception. ‘Lagos Sand Merchants’ focuses on a group of ‘Sand Merchants’ on the outskirts of Lagos, arduously trawling the Lagos State Lagoon to unearth sand deep from the river bed, which will later be offered to the construction industry for sale. Paused by the lagoon’s edge, the sand merchants employ modest straw baskets to retrieve the heavy wet sand from river bed to boat, and then to the shore where they cluster in heavy heaped mounds. The repetitious and systematic character of this task is reflected in the mechanism’s rotary nature. As the mechanism is actioned, it rolls the camera forward. Subsequently, the moving image lurches towards the ground and comes back up again, as if surfacing for air. The mechanism becomes a mirror for the task – producing a rhythmic quality that reflects the monotonous yet poetic relationship between the merchants and the lagoon.

The Athens Digital Arts Festival archive has been developed by Antonis Lianos