Win a Seat at Zina Saro-Wiwa’s Feast Performance “The Mangrove Banquet”
We’re thrilled to announce that British-Nigerian artist Zina Saro-Wiwa will stage a feast performance titled The Mangrove Banquet on Nov. 19 at Blaffer Art Museum. Held in conjunction with the exhibition Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?, the first solo museum presentation of Saro-Wiwa’s work, the performance is conceived as a love letter to the artist’s native Niger Delta region of southeastern Nigeria, offering her guests an opportunity to ingest the region’s agricultural bounty.
To preserve the intimacy of the performance, the event is invitation-only, but four seats will be reserved for Blaffer members along with another six seats for members of the public whose names will be chosen randomly from a list of Blaffer visitors who attend the exhibition Nov. 5-14. Visitors wishing to enter the drawing may sign up at the front desk when visiting the museum, where admission and parking are free. Members may email rsvpBlaffer@uh.edu to enter the members’ drawing. Winners will be notified by email on Nov. 16; there is no fee to attend the performance.
For The Mangrove Banquet, Saro-Wiwa has designed a five-course feast featuring ingredients from the Niger Delta crafted into new entities: periwinkle, sorgor leaf, hibiscus, pineapple, roasted fish, natural honey from Ogoniland, and her own locally brewed gin flavored with medicinal tree bark.
Amidst an elegant setting designed to heighten the potency of such foods and their effects on the participants’ bodies, The Mangrove Banquet is an experience designed to elicit the triumph of nature, imagination and the feminine over political despair. A magical, animistic and elemental event, the banquet returns agency and seductive storytelling power to a region historically fraught with the politics of energy, labor and land.
“This is my response to the narratives of death that surround the Niger Delta,” Saro-Wiwa says. “This work, this banquet is an assertion of life. The life that is everywhere that is neglected. I want to celebrate what the ground in the Niger Delta has to offer the region and the entire world.”