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Minji: The Shape of Owu
Institute of Contemporary Arts

Still from Minji: The Shape of Owu, Ibiye Camp, 2021

An imagined story through CGI and field recordings produced in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The Kalabari word minji translates to water, and Owu is a spirit. Its tales are told through the West African talking drum and body movements by a masquerade. In River State Nigeria, the Sekiapo Society translates the Owu stories into performances.

This film was made collecting sounds from the seafront, sound systems and motors through the city. Even when over 500 metres away, all these sounds echo and animate the space. The combined sounds make it hard to perceive which direction the sound is coming from. Nevertheless, the vibrations tell a story of the landscape.

Minji, The Shape of Owu tells a story of the Water Spirits. A masquerade stands in the river. The masquerade begins to move and vibrate to the collaged sounds. The variations in sound take over the masquerade's body, to the extent that it then transforms into a human. The human figure stands where the masquerade once was, and it also begins to vibrate from the noises, showing that the water spirit still inhabits the human.
Ibiye Camp is an artist who investigates technology and the built environment. Ibiye’s practice uses architectural tools to create films, augmented reality and 3D objects. Her past projects in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Ethiopia investigated the dynamics of technology as a means to explore the glitches and tensions between digital infrastructure and the landscape. Ibiye is a member of the all-female design collective Xcessive Aesthetics. XA investigates data networks, digital infrastructure, spatial design, and digital technologies in unconventional and playful ways.
This film is screening within Ca$h Fractals in the Upper Gallery, part of the exhibition Nine Nights: Channel B. Entry with an exhibition ticket.

Open to the public from 12 – 9pm, Tuesday – Sunday.

Tuesday: Free for all visitors

Wednesday – Sunday: £5 (+ £1 booking fee for non-Members), free for all ICA Members

Free exhibition entry with every ticket to the cinema or theatre.