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ASAUK Conference Diaspora Restitution and Culture Broadcasting Live at IFRA-Nigeria

20220831logoASAUKIn 2022, the biennial ASAUK Conference will be broadcast live at IFRA-Nigeria. The conference titled titled: “Diaspora Remittance Flows: Restitution, Culture and Capital will be broadcast live from IFRA-Nigeria on Wednesday 31st August. On Thursday, 1st September the conference will be broadcast from Nairobi and the final part of the online conference will be broadcast from Liverpool on Friday 2nd September, jointly chaired by the ASAUK and RAS presidents.

This conference took place in-person and online at IFRA-Nigeria on Thursday 31st August from 10:30am to 3:30pm. With generous funding from the British Academy we were able to allow free online attendance for the Nigerian audience and to host an in-person roundtable discussion at IFRA-Nigeria at the University of Ibadan.

What is the conference about?


In this session we were pleased to welcome keynote speakers who are experts in their specialist research and engagement with Africa’s historic, material culture; architecture, artefacts and their involvement with the curation and presentation of heritage to the public both in the diaspora and in Africa. A key theme of this unique online conference is to open up the discussion about African heritage and its location, both physically and conceptually in today’s 21st century society. 
The heated restitution debates continue as the ongoing return of the Benin Bronzes, the corpus Christi Cockerel and other artefacts to the Royal House in Benin Nigeria aptly show. Where will they be placed? Who amongst the public will be able to view them, and ultimately is this now a new form of shared heritage? Whilst the Bronzes are the most prominent artefacts in the current media, how can we relate this to other forms of physical heritage; the sites and architecture of places such as great Zimbabwe, West African textiles created from the dye pits of Kano, and various forms of local craftwork resulting in woven and clay artefacts for example? Also taking the reverse view, the textile processes that have led to “Dutch” and “Manchester” wax prints have led to large to African markets, are these processes accessible to the public view in Africa? Also do these exist in the now post-industrial towns such as Manchester and Hamburg who were central to their production?  Should we instead be talking of a ‘shared heritage’ ? If not, how best can we describe this fluid process of cultural transfer, and as keepers, recipients, and curators of this heritage how best can we engage various publics with these artefacts and the associated intangible culture often related to this.

Who are the speakers?

The six keynote speakers are;  Zachary Kingdon,  Shadreck Chirikure, Peju Layiwola, Saheed Aderinto, Taibat Lawanson and Michael Sudarkasa.
Presenter: we were grateful to have a presentation by Ore Disu of the Emowa Foundation, who will be discussing the challenges of curating and presenting West African Art globally. 

All presenters were  in conversation with invited guests to discuss their views in symposium fashion, hosted by the director of IFRA-Nigeria, Dr Vincent Hiribarren.

What wass the programme of the day-long conference?

Programme of Wednesday 31st August, 2022:

Session 1: ONLINE FROM IFRA-Nigeria, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN – 31st August 2022
Chaired by the Director IFRA-Nigeria, Dr Vincent Hiribarren.


Zachary Kingdon, National Museums and Galleries Scotland former keeper of African Art Liverpool World Museum
Shadreck Chirikure, British Academy Global Professor, School of Archaeology Oxford University Specialist on the archaeology of Greater Zimbabwe
Peju Layiwola, Professor of Art History, University of Lagos and Visual Artist Member of the Benin Royal Household
Presenter: Ore Disu Emowa Nigeria Eko Musuem of West African Art (EMOWA)

Afternoon Session (1.30pm – 3.30pm West African Time): DIASPORA FLOWS OF PEOPLES AND CULTURES TO AND FROM AFRICA

Saheed Aderinto, Professor of History Western Carolina University, Founder Lagos Studies Association
Taibat Lawanson Professor of Urban Planning, Co-director Centre for Housing Research, University of Lagos
Michael Sudarkasa Chairman Africa Business Group, CEO African Fertiliser and Agro business Partnership & consultant UNEP

Full programme of the 3-days online conference (days 2 and 3 from Nairobi & Liverpool):

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