Studios: Rahima Gambo | Abuja

13 - 29 May 2021
  • Rahima Gambo writes:


    'A Walk is a narrative mechanism that is mobile and open-ended, with no beginning, middle or end, that yields stills, moving images and an assemblage of found objects that I sculpt together from objects I pick up on my "path". Found things could be sound, video, torn photographs, discarded material, a stick or a leaf. It is a psycho-geographical survey that visually maps an interior cartography from the external environment that I traverse.


    I first began to ideate "walking" as a narrative when I started to research the rising incidence of female suicide bombers in north-eastern Nigeria. I felt a void in linear photographic language to capture these horrific incidents. What emerged from my exploring this subject through walking was a holistic narrative that placed my own body at the centre of an eco-knowledge-system of entanglements, that could produce a new type of language and knowledge system about a place, subject or particular site.


    Movement itself became a new organ of perception, capturing an experience of a place that went beyond my own embodiment. As I walked in Maiduguri, Lagos, Abuja and Marrakech, I saw my body as a porous tool for gathering all sorts of multisensory information. I started to think of A Walk as a time-driven sculpture and I found a fluid continuum that moved between concepts of photography, drawing, moving image and sculpture.'

  • A Walk charts my experience with the environment that surrounds me. Each step poses questions about the experience of my body and mobility in these particular areas, as well as the diverted growth of flora as influenced by the urban environment (as seen in Marrakech and Lagos). A Walk is a banal everyday routine and also acts as a ritual sculptural instrument, suggestive of an engagement with the spiritual, immaterial and sacred in the quotidian ritual acts we engage in such as walking.


    As I walk, I am taken by the idea of a vast invisible circulatory system within and around me, to which I am connected. Using the motifs of mapping, journeying, growth and nature I try to make sense of the new connections I am making. As I 'Walk' I think about how I can mend a rupture, stitch a gash, and put the pieces back together of something, perhaps a body fragmented in the landscape.’


  • Rahima Gambo was born in London in 1986, and lives and works between London and Abuja, Nigeria. She studied Journalism...

    Rahima Gambo was born in London in 1986, and lives and works between London and Abuja, Nigeria. She studied Journalism at Columbia University, and Gender and Social Policy at the London School of Economics.


    She came to artistic practice by working independently on long-form documentary and photojournalism projects in Nigeria. Through her work she explores the moving cartographies of long-form documentary storytelling as it intersects with her inner life, psycho-spiritual-geography, sociopolitics, and urban and rural environments.


    In 2017 to 2020, she has taken part in group exhibitions including Foam Talent, Kühlhaus Berlin and Fondazione Sozzani, Paris; Have You Seen a Horizon Lately?, MACAAL, Marrakech; the 11th and 12th editions of Les Rencontres de Bamako, Mali; Resisting Images,Images Responding, Coalmine, Winterthur, Switzerland;Beyond the Image: Bertien van Manen and Friends, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Feminine(s): visualities, actions and affections, 12th Mercosur Biennial; Afterglow, Yokohama Triennale 2020; Lagos Biennale 2019; and Diaspora at Home curated by KADIST and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos.


    She was named a Foam Talent for 2020 and was one of the five winners of the Contemporary African Photography Prize in 2020. 

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    Photography: Rahima Gambo; Mario Todeschini