By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
If you loved FELA on Broadway, you will love this recently opened exhibit, being presented by the Santana Group, including Marilyn Nance, Al Santana, Ali Santana & Rafia Santana.
Their Opening Reception was Thursday June 10,2010, with continuing views from Friday, June 11 through August 6, 2010 at the famed Caribbean Cultural Center African Diasporic Institute (CCCADI)
408 W 58th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues, New York NY 10019;
Tel: 212-307-7420 ext 3008
Curated by Shantrelle P. Lewis & featuring the work of The Santana Group: Marilyn Nance, Al Santana, Ali Santana & Rafia Santana.
This exhibition pays tribute to one of the African Diaspora's most influential living ancestors as well as critiques the complexity of his persona.
Life after Death is a visual homage to a musical genius and one of contemporary history's most powerful protest artists including never before seen photography by Marilyn Nance of Fela at the Africa Shrine, Lagos Nigeria.
AL SANTANA: www.alsantana.com
Marilyn Nance http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/video/nance/nance.html
These images are so striking, but my skills run to writing so I'm not able to reproduce them for you here. So you'll just have to go and see them for yourself. If you've seen the musical production, FELA, on Broadway, you have some idea of how wonderful, colorful, and poignant these can be. Make it your business to go, and while you're at it, take some friends with you.
Fela the man, artist, musician, activist was a force of nature!! I know, I met him when he performed here in New York at Studio 54. His energy was contagious. When he performed, if you were dancing to his music, it was like an endurance test. Songs could last as long as twenty to thirty minutes. He had a message to impart to the rest of the world that the powers that be in Nigeria and Great Britain did not want to be heard. He was a man on fire, AND a man of fire - literally! And for someone to capture that energy is truly a work of art, and something to be experienced first hand. Check it out for yourselves though.
An, oh yes, if you haven't gone to see FELA, the musical on Broadway, what are you waiting for - the sequel? It's one of the most dynamic, important pieces ever produced. Kudos to Bill T. Jones for having the insight, creativity and courage to bring it!
But I digress. Do your SELF a favor, make it your business to see this artistic homage to FELA. Have a wonderful summer.
Stay blessed &