CFP: The Art and Politics of COVID-19: West Africa (Deadline: 27 June)

The Art and Politics of COVID-19: West Africa is an online-conference that will focus on artistic responses to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and the wider West African region. The conference will examine the political management of the crisis at local, national and transnational levels and the impact this is having on artistic practices across the region and the diaspora. This conference is part of the AHRC-funded ArtoP: The Visual Articulations of Politics in Nigeria.

ArtoP: The Visual Articulations of Politics in Nigeria is a research project that has been running for 2 years documenting the range of visual material produced across Nigeria and the diaspora that engages in the range of political discourse including the politics of the everyday. Recently, this research has observed how in many ways, social distancing measures have exacerbated existing trends in Nigerian visual culture, in particular the increasing tendency of Nigerian artists to use the networked spaces of social media to disseminate their work and express political ideas.

Artists have navigated digital spaces with considerable flair both before and during the pandemic, deploying agency and innovation to convene new audiences and challenge elite-driven political narratives about the political management of the pandemic. Moreover, the interactive spaces of Web 2.0 have enabled audiences themselves to transform and share digital images, and express popular experiences of everyday life during the pandemic.  These phenomena represent popular forms of subversive visual critique and are part of ongoing contestations of political authority and public health strategies in visual culture. The digital fluency and creativity demonstrated by artists online has also come to the attention of the state bodies, who have commissioned animation studios, musicians and artists to produce content for public health communications.

This conference will expand conventional notions of art practice to take in forms sometimes considered to belong to the spaces of popular culture, such as memes, gifs, animation, music videos, posters, cartoons and comix. Papers are also encouraged to consider how online spaces and digital technologies are transforming long-standing trajectories of artistic practice and the aesthetics of political expression.


Image courtesy of ArtoP

The organisers invite academics and artists to submit Research Posters that connect to themes outlined below:
-Complicity and Subversion in COVID-19 Digital Arena
-Documenting COVID-19: Photographic Practices
-Participatory Arts and Space in times of Coronavirus
-Artistic Practice during lockdown
-Artistic intervention on myths and conspiracies associated with COVID19
-Politics of Social Distancing
-Digital Technologies and the Arts
-Articulations of Politics during COVID times
-Impact of COVID19 on the creative economies

The conference will be conducted in English.

The conference will have two parts:
1) access to online Research Posters and
2) podcasts of panel discussions of themes that emerge from the Research Posters.

These will be available to view and stream from the ArtoP: The Visual Articulations of Politics in Nigeria (AHRC) project website.

Registration: For Poster Submission please write to the conference organiser at:

Submission of Posters should be sent in the following format:
— PDF POSTER [max. 900 words]
— CV OF PRESENTER(S) OF PAPER [max. 100 words]

The deadline for proposed Posters is 27th June.
Conference Dates: 15th July – Panel Discussions/ Live-Stream
Online Release Dates: 15th August – Podcasts + Conference Proceedings go Online

Further Information and guidelines for creating a Research Posters can be found here:


Follow ArtoP: Visual Articulations of Nigerian Politics via the Arts and Humanities Research Council on Twitter @ahrcpress
Also follow @SOAS and @bournemouthuni


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