Flags of Unsung Countries is a photographic installation exploring new ceremonies, migration and embodied archives. Photographed in Canada and Nigeria, the work functions as a rite of passage. The exhibition charts the process of understanding a father’s struggles as an African immigrant challenged with mental illness living in the Canadian prairies. The layered images intersect geography and memory in a search for a location of belonging. The work asks the questions: How do we reconcile displacement with a sense of rootedness on adopted homelands? What is required of a home - is it a geography, a structure, a memory? Do we choose to belong or does it choose us? Flags of Unsung Countries uses photography as a language and an archive to map a path of the African diaspora. Using the medium of photography, for this exhibition, Liz Ikiriko documents a personal journey to learn more about her father, returning to meet family in Nigeria and places in Canada where she has lived. Her deeply personal and moving work explores memory, family and identity, and reimagines boundaries between past and present.
Born and raised in Regina, Liz Ikiriko is a biracial Nigerian Canadian independent photo editor, curator and artist. As a photo editor she has directed visual research with the NFB, the CBC and Macleans Magazine. She has curated projects with The National Music Centre, Wedge Curatorial Projects and at Prefix ICA. Ikiriko holds an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University.
Liz Ikiriko, Homegoing I, 2017, digital C-print. Photo: courtesy of the artist.