Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Conversations, Crea(c)tive Senses, Photography, Queer

Photo Stories 2019 [4:] A Sum of Encounters by Emmanuel Iduma

I met Emmanuel Iduma in November 2009 in Lagos.  We were both attending a week long writing workshop, I as facilitator and he as a participant. He was very young and had recently started the Nigerian literary journal Saraba along with his friend Dami Ajayi which has just celebrated ten years.  He was gentle, somewhat intense and focused with a generous warm smile.   He very soon began writing on my blog Black Looks, short insightful essays on art and politics.  He has since published his first novel, Farad later published in the US as The Sound of Things To Come.   Last year he published his brilliant, beautiful tender travelogue “A Strangers Pose“.

The Sum of Encounters  I would describe as a travelog of Nigerian artists with whom Iduma encounters.  Why he chose us?  This he explains as

There are varying reasons why I chose the artists I’ll write about—their dazzling artworks, my proximity to them, our friendship, their relevance in art history, etc. I deem all those justifications as subjective, even a little simplistic. I am most interested in recording facsimiles of our encounters, paid passage to a world of greater clarity.

I am most grateful – his insight into me and my life, his words are generous, and tender.

She is about seventy. Her age is insignificant as far as enumeration goes, but matters in relation to evolution. She’ll agree with this idea because her life can be summed as a seven-decade instance of evolution. She is a Nigerian born in London who has lived in Florida and now in New Orleans. She has been a blogger, a freelance researcher, a teacher of adult students, a mother, an editor, an activist, a writer, a journalist, and so forth, each instance succeeding or intersecting with another. She considers these transitions, and asks, “How do I become free of age?” Not trite, and not a blind wish. In a biological sense she can never outwit age—only in a mental sense. In this light we acknowledge that it is possible for her to be free of age.  Continue reading here 


Photo of Emmanuel by @joshbegley