Ikegobo to the Iyoba | Barber Schools Resource

Ikegobo to the Iyoba | Barber Schools Resources

Find out more about how, why and where this Edo artefact was made. Explore how it came to be in Birmingham today, colonial histories and discuss a contemporary artist’s response.

This resource contains age-appropriate discussion and images of the historical invasion and looting in Benin City, Nigeria.

An Artist's Response by Vivian Chinesa Ezugha

As part of our Ikegobo to the Iyoba resource, we asked contemporary artist Vivian Chinesa Ezugha to respond to the Ikegobo’s history and place in Birmingham today with her own digital artwork and poetry.

Below is her animation response. Use our resource to explore this further.

‘History of colonialism is one that exists in the streets, museums and social operations of the Britain. Ikegobo belongs to the people of Benin, Nigeria but she is lost in the land of the west. This piece is about reclaiming and giving voice to this magnificent entity.

Here is my poem to her.’

About the Artist

Chinasa Vivian Ezugha is a Nigerian-born artist living and working in Hampshire. Her work looks at the transition of Black women and their identity within culture from colonised subjects to emancipated figures. Vivian works predominantly in performance. Using the medium to decontextualise and reconstruct what it means to be alive in this present time and to protest for a world where we are all allowed to dream

This commission was made possible by the Engage, Micro Grant Programme: Sharing Practice

Online Talk

Written and recorded by Adwoa Owusu-Barnieh, University of Birmingham Classical Literature and Civilizations graduate.

This talk was reflected upon over 2022 and commissioned to explore an in-depth history of the object and how it would have been used by the people of Benin.

Listen now or read the transcript: