Akeroyd Collection


Karimah Ashadu

b. 1985, London, UK.; Lives and works in Hamburg, Germany and Lagos, Nigeria.

Karimah Ashadu is a British-born Nigerian artist whose work focuses on the social, political and economic circumstances of Nigeria and its diasporic community. Although first studying painting, Ashadu increasingly located the body, and its labour more spatially in her work. Considering ideas of resilience and self-determination in a more corporeal way, she turned toward a practice of performance. Alternative and underground economies are made visible in such works and the idea of an undercommons becomes legible, both as a reclamation of collective agency, but also as a consequence of entanglements with neoliberal ideology and legacies of colonial power. In Ashadu’s video works, which are often the outcome of intensive periods of research and collaboration with her subjects, a humanised edge is given to these concerns. The narrated voices are those of her protagonists, and the closeness to her subject becomes apparent in the films. Masculinity and vulnerability are collapsed into a complex enquiry that elucidates an intersectional politics of class, race, and patriarchal hierarchy.