ArtoP Events

The Art and Politics of COVID-19: West Africa Conference / Call for Papers 

Aderemi Adegbite Installation @ Vernacular Art-space Laboratory Foundation

This online-conference will focus on artistic responses to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and the wider West African region. We 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 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.

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. Authors of accepted papers will be eligible for a small subsidy to cover Internet Data costs for their contribution to the conference of approx. £10 pp.

We 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

For Poster Submission please write to the conference organiser:

Conference Official Language: English

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


Deadline: Proposed Posters should be posted by 27th June.

Conference Dates: 15th July - Panel Discussions/ Live-Stream

Online Release Dates: 15th August –
Podcasts + Conference Proceedings go Online


Further Information about Research Posters:

What is a Research Poster?

Posters are widely used in the academic community, and most conferences include poster presentations in their program. Research posters summarise information or research concisely and attractively to help publicise it and generate discussion.

The poster is usually a mixture of a brief text mixed with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats. At a conference, the researcher stands by the poster display while other participants can come and view the presentation and interact with the author.

What makes a good poster paper submission?

Title is short and draws interest
Word count of about 300 to 800 words
Text is clear and to the point
Use of bullets, numbering, and headlines make it easy to read
Effective use of graphics, images, colour and fonts
Consistent and clean layout
Includes acknowledgments, your name and institutional affiliation

(, Accessed 20/04/2020)