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Jumoke Sanwo | Research Trip

Switzerland | Visual Arts

June 2023 — Visual Arts



Nigerian culture producer and curator, Jumoke Sanwo will undertake a research trip at TaDA in St. Gallen from 11-25 June 2023 to continue her research into the entangled textile economies and trade histories between Nigeria and Europe.

Jumoke’s curatorial work explores the convergence of technology, innovation, and African art, with a focus on investigating the complexities of postcolonial realism and its impact on the disappearance of public and social spaces. Her research on the socio-cultural life in the city of Lagos has revealed the importance of lace in comprehending the socio-economic complexities of the aso-ebi industry- a multi-million-dollar industry pinned on the selection and wearing matching outfits for communal celebrations and commemoration of special occasions practiced all across Yorubaland. She explains that “exploring the materiality of lace provides a more nuanced and accurate representation of the lived experiences of postcolonial Lagos in the 20th century, including the struggles for social, political, economic, and cultural self-determination.”

Jumoke’s project builds on from her research of the lace relations between Lagos and the Austrian town of Lustenau. “I am particularly interested in exploring the historical and contemporary connections between these countries with Nigeria with regard to lace manufacturing and consumption,” she explains, “including the socio-economic impact of Swiss and Austrian lace in Nigeria, the role of Nigerian traders and merchants in the lace trade, the decimation of the textile industry in Nigeria and the development of domestic lace industries in Austria and Switzerland.”

During her time in St. Gallen, Jumoke will explore textile and fashion archives and museums, including the Jakob Schlaepfer AG, the oldest and most prestigious manufacturer of lace popular in the Nigerian social scenes in the mid-20th century, and the Museum of Textile in St Gallen. On 22 June, Jumoke will take part in a discussion at TaDA on the value of textile production.

Ìsàlè̩ Àpótí – The interwoven stories surrounding Prestige Textile from Lagos to St Gallen


Jumoke Sanwo is a Lagos-based storyteller, place-maker, cultural producer and founder of Revolving Art Incubator Lagos. Jumoke explores the intersection of technology, innovation, and art in postcolonial societies. With a background in English studies and diverse field experiences, Jumoke developed a keen understanding of the connections between art, culture, and society. Jumoke’s projects include Dúna Dúrà – A Portal of Reimagination, “Lagos at Large” a virtual reality tribute to the imaginary and material space of Lagos, “Silence des Femme,” a multimedia project shedding light on the silencing of women in conflict-ridden African societies and “Identity- Etisegba,” a meticulous exploration of disappearing scarification practices. Through exhibitions and spatial interventions, she challenges norms and interrogates public spaces, aiming for inclusive urban development. Jumoke has contributed to several publications and online resources including MoMA Post-Notes on Art in a Global Context. Her works have been presented at galleries, museums, and festivals in many regions across the world.

[Portrait: Sonayan Thomas]