The Third Force
Generation Y by Retro Africa, National Exhibition Pavillion, Abuja (Nigeira) [group exhibition]
29 March - 1 April 2018
This installation interrogates the contemporary Nigerian socio-political landscape. The Third Force takes as its starting point the idea of a third political party as an alternative to the two main political parties operating in Nigeria; the All Progress Congress (APC) – the ruling party - and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – the current opposition party. While many are optimistic about the emergence of a new crop of leaders, who are progressive and patriotic, challenging the status-quo with the creation of this new party or political platform, others find it an irony that an ex-president, establishment man and a known member of the “ruling class” who has been involved in the installation of presidents after him, now appears to be the pivot of the Third Force movement.
This installation depicts the two main political parties, the APC - on the left with its symbol, the Broom - and the PDP - on the right with its symbol, the Umbrella. The figure in the middle represents the Third Force. The positioning – Left and Right - of the two existing political parties isn’t based on ideology. It is worth noting that Nigerian political platforms aren’t founded on ideologies but the personal interests of the political players and these interests become the only meaningful form of change the people get to experience.
The installation is accompanied by a sound piece - audio recordings of conversations at newspaper stands - installed inside a chair placed in front of the three figures. This serves as invitation to the People’s Parliament, an invitation to the spectator to participate and tap in to the voice of the people.
While the third force in this installation assumes multiple meanings, from the citizens, aggrieved politicians, to the military, it’s important to note that there’s an impending revolution and any one of these actors may become the Third Force.