Sarafadeen Bello is a design architect, researcher and creative based in Lagos, Nigeria. His works and artistic medium of expression are through text, essays, research, design and installations. His areas of interest operate within the overlapping boundaries of architecture, urban design, theatre, culture, and inclusion as well as the intersection of art and public realm participation.
Sarafadeen is the final fellow to join us in 2022 after receiving the inaugural G.A.S. Fellowship Award earlier this year. We asked him to tell us more about his practice and how he hopes the opportunity might shape future projects.
What is the current focus of your practice?
My practice currently explores the notion of access in relation to the discourse around decolonisation, restitution and repatriation. I am interested in the future of returned cultural heritage objects, how they are received back home and the opportunities they present in terms of democratised access, economic opportunities and the strengthening of our creative and cultural ecosystem.
During the residency, I hope to further my research in this area by expanding my understanding of how technological advancements may influence the ongoing process of decolonisation, restitution and repatriation of cultural objects. I am also interested in restitution and repatriation within the context of archival materials, documents, audio recordings, audio-visual materials etc. which are often less talked about.
Yam and Oil, From a project exploring food systems (2022).
What drew you to apply for this residency and how do you think it will inform your work?
The open call was very inclusive and I had been searching for opportunities to build on my previous remote research residency, so it felt like a great chance to share my thoughts and ideas. The extensive support provided to residents was also an incentive. I believe this opportunity would also give me space to experiment, have deeper reflection and further develop my practice. I highly encourage other artists and creatives to apply in the future.
Can you give us an insight into how you hope to use the opportunity?
I hope to use this opportunity to make connections with cultural workers, artists, researchers, curators and creatives. Through the residency, I also hope to gain access to, and build relationships with archives and creative, cultural and memory institutions which would otherwise have been difficult or impossible for me to reach without the support of Guest Artists Space Foundation. Most importantly I look forward to learning and exploring the newly installed G.A.S Library.
Urban Garden Stop, Mixed media installation (2019).
Sarafadeen Bello is a Design Architect and creative based in Lagos, Nigeria. He graduated with a degree in Architecture and was a participant in the Young Critics programme in Lagos, Nigeria in 2017. He was shortlisted for the Ken Saro Wiwa Book Review Prize at the Lagos Book and Arts Festival in 2019 and placed second in the “How can we obey the law against war” essay competition in 2020.
Sarafadeen participated in the Remote Research Residency Memory and Memoricide of Land – Reimagining Alternative Model of Museums cooperated by Co.iki (Japan), and supported by KOFICE (South Korea) in 2021 as part of Project The Great Museum. His works and artistic medium of expression are through text, essays, research, design and installations. His areas of interest operate within the overlapping boundaries of architecture, urban design, theatre, culture, and inclusion as well as the intersection of art and public realm participation.
For more information about Sarafadeen visit his website (https://sarafadeen-bello.webflow.io/) or follow him on Instagram (@onthereviewtoday).
All images courtesy of the artist.