On the Ona movement

When a few days ago I went to the opening of Moyo Okediji and Tola Wewe’s exhibition “The return of our mother” little did I know that behind the polite pleasantries of the opening speeches there were substantial art historical issues coming to the fore.
Neither Moyo nor Tola referred much to the origins of the Ona movement. Nevertheless, on Friday July 29, 2011 Moyo Okediji published in several Lagos newspapers an important article titled: Beyond Dispute: Origins and Travail of the Ona Art Movement . In it, he gives a brief, but clear, account of the beginnings of the Ona Movement.
This is very good news for those of us concerned about the dearth of rigorous documentation on the development of modern Nigerian Art. I hope Moyo, and the other members of Ona, can expand this summary story and provide a more detailed and comprehensive account of the movement.
This is the “hottest topic” in Lagos art circles, so, in case you missed it, I copy the links to the article as it appeared in The Guardian, 234 Next, and The Nation.
I wonder what Moyo thinks about the way the website of the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications refers to Ona.


2 thoughts on “On the Ona movement

  1. Onaism is almost going into extinction. I think you guys should be more concerned about preventing the movement from dying out rather than fighting over who the founder is. Eventually, if it dies out, it will be pretty bad because their won’t be anything to even rule over, at all.
    A word of advice for Mufu and a word of advice for the prof. Mufu kindly make efforts to respect the elderly people in whatever situation. Prof. you should know that by now, your followers are like a flo ck of sheep without a shepherd. I was one of your students in O.A.U and a great admirer of your movement. As a true leader, nothing should stop you from coming home every two years, hold exhibitions with younger generations that are following your footsteps and let onaism be projected into limelight. If you have been doing that, this kind of situation would not have come up. You did mention you came in 2009 (9years ago!) and also last year to hold an exhibition with just an individual (Tola Wewe). Here comes the big question sir truly, where are your followers?

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