|Died||2000 66–67) (aged|
"El Hadj" Tidiani Shitou (1933–2000) was a Nigerian photographer best known for his pioneering photographs of Yoruba celebrations and his portraits of doubles in Nigeria.
Shitou was born in Shaki, in the Oyo region of Nigeria in 1933. Part of the Yoruba tribe, Shitou was first employed as a tailor and merchant in Nigeria. In the mid-1950s, he began learning photography from Mama Awane, eventually moving to Mopti, Mali in 1962.In Mali, Shitou continued his photographic education alongside Malian photographer Bosco Maiga. During this time, Shitou traveled extensively throughout the country, settling first in Gao and then in Bamako. He continued to travel throughout southern Africa in search of photographic subjects and photographic mentors. In 1971, he settled again in Mopti with his second wife, Sarah Woussouf. He continued travelling throughout sub-Saharan Africa in search of subjects and techniques. In 1980, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca and upon his return, he acquired the nickname "El Hadj" after the headscarf worn by devout Muslims. Here he established his studio, Gangal, where he worked until his death in 2000. Shitou was survived by four wives and 26 children.
Shitou is best known for his reworking of traditional Nigerian Ibeji art. In traditional Ibeji photography, photographs are doubled in order to fulfill the need for ritual figures used in the cult. Marilyn Houlberg writes: "A recent development in Ila-orangun, Ibomina, is the use of photographs to represent deceased twins. The use of the photograph as an active link with the spirit world is unprecedented in the history of photography as far as I know." Shitou's photographs utilize the traditional photographic overlay and portraiture techniques developed by the Yoruba. Shitou said to his son: "You must keep symmetry in mind. Use props along the axis, arrange the sitters, think of triangular or rectangular compositions. " In addition to using portrait techniques, Shitou chose subjects who would initially be seen as doubles or twins through their dress, poses, and attitudes, but upon closer inspection, would be revealed as separate people. Shitou worked with 6x6 cameras (Yashika) and a DSRL for color.
Shitou's photographs were purchased by the Sokkelund Museum of Copenhagen and private collectors. Additionally, his work was exhibited at Photography Encounters in Bamako in 2001, at the Indiana University Art Museum in April 2007, and the Chronicles Nomads of Honfleur in May 2007. His work has also been exhibited the gallery of Pierre Malbec (Isle sur la Sorgue) in July and August 2007, at the Dettinger-Meyer Gallery (Lyon) in September and October 2007, Municipal Library of Lyon in December 2008 and January 2009, and in the African Museum of Lyon from February to May 2012.
Shango is an Orisha, a type of spirit in Yoruba religion. Genealogically speaking, Shango is a royal ancestor of the Yoruba as he was the third Alaafin of the Oyo Kingdom prior to his posthumous deification. Shango has numerous manifestations, including Airá, Agodo, Afonja, Lubé, and Obomin. He is known for his powerful axe. He is considered to be one of the most powerful rulers that Yorubaland has ever produced.
Ọṣun, is an Orisha, a spirit, a deity, or a goddess that reflects one of the manifestations of the Yorùbá Supreme Being in the Ifá oral tradition and Yoruba-based religions of West Africa. She is one of the most popular and venerated Orishas. Oshun is an important river deity among the Yorùbá people. She is the goddess of divinity, femininity, fertility, beauty and love. She is connected to destiny and divination.
Olokun is an orisha spirit in Yoruba religion. Olokun is believed to be the parent of Aje, the orisha of great wealth and of the bottom of the ocean. Olokun is revered as the ruler of all bodies of water and for the authority over other water deities. Olokun is highly praised for their ability to give great wealth, health, and prosperity to their followers. Communities in both West Africa and the African diaspora view Olokun variously as female, male, or androgynous.
In the native religion of the Yoruba people, Orisha are spirits sent by Olodumare for the guidance of all creation and of humanity in particular, on how to live and be successful on Àiyé (Earth). Most Òrìṣà are said to have previously existed in the spirit world (òrún) as Irúnmọlẹ̀, and then become incarnated as human beings here on Earth. Others are said to be humans who are recognised as deities upon their death due to extraordinary feats accomplished in life.
Olatunji Akin Euba, was a Nigerian composer, musicologist, and pianist.
Malick Sidibé was a Malian photographer noted for his black-and-white studies of popular culture in the 1960s in Bamako. Sidibé had a long and fruitful career as a photographer in Bamako, Mali, and was a well-known figure in his community. In 1994 he had his first exhibition outside of Mali and received much critical praise for his carefully composed portraits. Sidibé's work has since become well known and renowned on a global scale. His work was the subject of a number of publications and exhibited throughout Europe and the United States. In 2007, he received a Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale, becoming both the first photographer and the first African so recognized. Other awards he has received include a Hasselblad Award for photography, an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a World Press Photo award.
Marilyn Jensen Houlberg was a professor, art historian, anthropologist, photographer, and curator. She was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Houlberg traveled extensively, conducting art historical and anthropological research in countries across the Caribbean and western Africa. She is known for curating exhibitions based on the religious icons and visual practices of Haitian Vodou and her anthropological research on the culture of the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria. Her photography archives and visual art collections are housed in various institutions throughout the United States. She was Professor Emeritus of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she taught for over twenty years.
Francis Abiola Irele was a Nigerian academic best known as the doyen of Africanist literary scholars worldwide. He was Provost at Kwara State University, founded in 2009 in Ilorin, Nigeria. Before moving back to Nigeria, Irele was Visiting Professor of African and African American Studies and of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University.
Twins Seven Seven, born Omoba Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Oyelale Osuntoki in Ogidi, Kogi State, Nigeria, was a Nigerian painter, sculptor and musician. He was an itinerant singer and dancer before he began his career as an artist, first attending in 1964 an Mbari Mbayo workshop conducted by Ulli Beier and Georgina Beier in Osogbo, a Yoruba town in south-western Nigeria. Twins Seven Seven went on to become one of the best known artists of the Osogbo School.
Peter N. Turnley is an American photojournalist known for documenting the human condition and current events. He is also a street photographer who has lived in and photographed Paris since 1978.
The Yorubapeople are an ethnic group that inhabits western Africa, mainly the countries of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. The Yoruba constitute around 29 million people worldwide. The vast majority of this population is from Nigeria, where the Yoruba make up 21% of the country's population, making them one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. Most Yoruba people speak the Yoruba language, which is the Niger-Congo language with the largest number of native speakers.
Jeff Donaldson was a visual artist whose work helped define the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Donaldson, co-founder of AfriCOBRA and contributor to the momentous Wall of Respect, was a pioneer in African-American personal and academic achievement. His art work is known for creating alternative black iconography connected to Africa and rooted in struggle, in order to replace the history of demeaning stereotypes found in mainstream white culture.
Oluwarotimi (Rotimi) Adebiyi Wahab Fani-Kayode was a Nigerian-born photographer, who moved to England at the age of 12 to escape the Nigerian Civil War. The main body of his work was created between 1982 and 1989. He explored the tensions created by sexuality, race and culture through stylised portraits and compositions.
Healing of Abiku Children is a piece created by the Nigerian artist Twins Seven-Seven in 1973, located in the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which is in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America. It consists of a large wooden plaque intricately carved and dyed with pigment to depict an important Yoruba ceremony. In it, a mother consults with a priest to keep her abiku twins in this world, rather than dying and being reborn to her over and over.
Yoruba Americans are Americans of Yoruba descent. The Yoruba people are an ethnic group originating in southwestern Nigeria and southern Benin in West Africa.
Armet Francis is a Jamaican-born photographer and publisher who has lived in London since the 1950s. He has been documenting and chronicling the lives of people of the African diaspora for more than 40 years and his assignments have included work for The Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Supplement, BBC and Channel 4.
Hamidou Maiga is a Malian studio photographer among the region's pioneers in the craft during the postcolonial period. His work was largely unknown in the West prior to his discovery and display in the early 2010s. Maiga's early outdoor portraits from the Niger River region in the late 1950s reflect Mali's period of societal transition from colony to sovereignty. He has exhibited in solo shows in London and Lima, Peru.
Akin Adesokan is a Nigerian writer, scholar and novelist with research interests into twentieth and twenty-first century African and African American/African Diaspora literature and cultures. He is currently the associate professor of comparative literature at Indiana University Bloomington. He exerts influence on Nigerian cultural environment through commentary, advocacy, and writing.
Dayo Adedayo is a British-trained Nigerian documentary photographer, cultural anthropologist, and author. Dayo is the author of Nigeria 2.0, the book documented the story behind many places in Nigeria. Within a space of 17 years, Dayo has travelled and documented 36 states in Nigeria.
Adama Delphine Fawundu is an American multi-disciplinary photographer and visual artist promoting African culture and heritage, a co-founder and author of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora – a journal and book representing female photographers of African descent. Her works have been presented in numerous exhibitions worldwide.