Episode 23

Komi Olaf

On this episode, I am joined by CBC’s research assistant, Jasmine Newton. In this episode, we interviewed architectural designer, poet, and visual artist, Komi Olaf. His visual art has been inspired by asking the question, “What does African heritage look like with technology?” He thus, imagines a world where colonization does not exist and instead a world in which hybridity and a mixture of culture and identities have emerged and flourished. Not only has his visual art explored Afrofuturist concepts but his spoken word poetry and architectural design has also utilized this technological lens at the intersections of race, culture, and identity. Bringing art and technology at the forefront, his work challenges social and cultural norms by imagining and reimagining worlds beyond perceived confinements. He is also apart of MadeMill, a collective of professional developers whose mission is to “ make product creation and social innovation accessible, affordable, in order to connect the services and resources necessary to move an idea into reality.” Olaf was recently apart of a group exhibition entitled, AfrOURban. This collective’s objective is to document and express the many characters of the metropole on the [African] continent and how these inform culture or are informed by it. Tune into this week’s episode to hear more about his migration from Nigeria to Canada and how he uses art as a means to navigate through these two identities and the challenges he has faced as an artist. You can find Komi Olaf’s work at his website komiolaf.com where you can purchase his works, commission for art work and watch his spoken word poetry.

References Mentioned On the Support:

Kaduna

Caravaggio

Johannes Vermeer

Salvador Dali

Shane Koyczan

Jalel ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Khwaja Shams-ud-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi

Zaha Hadid

Ben Enwonwu

Frank Gehry

Roots:The Saga of an American Family” by Alex Haley

Leonardo Davinci

British Colonization of Canada

“Sankofa Eagle Clan”

“Cairo”

“Space Party”

“Barbershop Blues”

Autobiography of Malcolm X

Chikis

“Silent Night”

What is Black Art?

Sara Golish

Future Histories

Ottawa

Canadian Festival of Spoken Word

Mademill by Prototype D

“Afro mobile”  

Red River Rebellion

Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene

Freedom: The Courage to Be Yourself by Osho

Imagine by Jonah Lehrer

Up and Coming Artist You Recommend: 

Allan Andre

Resources You Rely On:

Books

Words You Live By:

“Be Your Future Self”

How Can Our Listeners Find and Support Your Work:

Komiolaf.com

Twitter

Instagram

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