The vibrant community of Peckham in southeast London, known as “Little Lagos” due to its significant Nigerian population, is being highlighted in a new exhibition called “Lagos, Peckham, Repeat: Pilgrimage to the Lakes. The exhibition, held at the South London Gallery, explores the rich relationship between Peckham and the Nigerian diaspora, showcasing the influence of Nigerian culture on the area and the shared experiences of its residents.
A Multicultural Hub
Peckham has lengthy been a multicultural hub and a vacation spot for Nigerians transferring abroad. The area’s streets are bustling with activity, and its walls are adorned with vibrant street art. The exhibition captures the essence of Peckham’s multicultural identity, with installations, photography, sculpture, and film that depict the intersection of Nigerian culture with the local community.
Exploring Identity and Migration
Co-curated through Folakunle Oshun, founding father of the Lagos Biennial, the exhibition delves into thehistory of how Peckham’s Nigerian community has evolved since Nigeria’s independence in 1960. The show uses Lagos as an entry point to explore broader themes such as migration, identity, and the concept of home. It sheds light on how people from diverse backgrounds come together, form communities, and shape the cultural landscape of a neighborhood.
Empowerment Through Art
The exhibition aims to empower migrant communities in the UK, giving artists a platform to share their stories and perspectives. It features the work of 13 Nigerian and British Nigerian artists, each bringing their unique experiences and insights to the narrative. The show challenges traditional narratives and highlights the significance of representing diverse voices and cultures.
Personal Narratives and Cultural Significance
Filmmaker Adeyemi Michael’s short film “Entitled,” featuring his mother dressed in traditional Yoruba clothing and mounted on a horse in Peckham, is a powerful statement about identity and empowerment. Other works, such as Temitayo Ogunbiyi’s interactive play sculpture and Yinka Shonibare’s exploration of Nigerian culture, contribute to the exhibition’s depth and personal significance.
The “Lagos, Peckham, Repeat: Pilgrimage to the Lakes” exhibition celebrates the fusion of Nigerian culture and Peckham’s identity, offering a unique perspective on migration, community, and shared experiences. It underscores the importance of representing diverse voices in the art world and provides a platform for underrepresented communities to share their stories and contribute to the cultural fabric of a neighborhood.