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FEMME FATALE: Deconstructing the Politics of Sexuality


FEMME Fatale is a term that has been used extensively as a stereotypical representation of women in literature, cinema and visual arts throughout the century.

What does femme fatale mean to women? Does it empower or limit you? Men need to be disabused of the notion they have of placing women either in the role of mothers or whores.

Shannon Lawrence ,Jenevieve Aken ,Selina Sutherland of ROF ,Tari Sikoki ,Carmen Sutherland of ROF,Elisa Bortolussi ,Omoligho Udenta .

Medina Dugger, the art curator at African Artists Foundation (AAF) says the platform was started as a means to identify creative women in the community because they were not being heard.

The exhibition was not restricted to Nigerian Women alone; several women have come from around the globe to exhibit their works. The programme is basically about self awareness and identity building. Women every where are being put in a mold.

It is assumed that because you are a wife and mother you can’t do other things but this should not restrict women from finding means of expressing themselves. The exhibition is being used as a forum for network exchange. The exhibitors would also mentor secondary school girls for two months using the youth empowerment scheme (YECA).

Exhibiting artistes

Some of the exhibiting artists present were Tyna Adebowale, Jenevieve Aken, Karima Ashadu, Elisa Bortolussi, Sesu Tilley Gyado amongst others.

Women naturally have the tendency to be creative but it doesn’t necessarily have to be visual. You can be creative decorating your homes, baking cake, writing and lots of others. Creativity is not all about visual art. All of these gives you an out let and would make you have high esteem of yourself.

For women out there who are creative and don’t give it much thought, dig into your creativity and it just might make you happy. African artist foundation hopes to make this event running every year and expand on the mentor ship aspect. We want to reach out to the public and show them that women are capable and have wonderful works of art.

Tari Sikoki, writer, scholar and feminist portrays her work through stories. Basically, there are issues of misconception that rules the world at large even when people try not to be racists.

Just as cultural representations of black-ness, Nigeria-ness and Africa-ness exist, so also do damaging representations of womanhood and female sexualities. The merging of these into representations of African female sexualities uncovers stereotypes that are historically rooted. The preconceived ideas men have about women, especially African women needs tobe eradicated.

If women want the opinion of their being weaker sexes changed, they need to stop seeing themselves as clingy, needy women. The definition of equality varies with different people. For change to be possible, our society needs to be willing to go about that change.

Jenevieve Aken, photographer and model tells her story through pictures on a woman through different stages of undress. The way in which a woman dresses tells its own tale. A woman who is half dressed is probably referred to as a seductress not minding if she dressed with seduction in mind or not. Should a woman be proud of her sexuality or is it something she needs to be ashamed of?

Omoligho Udenta, lecturer, graphic artist. She works in a field that is highly dominated by men .she endeavours that the men and women she teaches work well together regardless of their sex. She inculcates team work among them so that the idea of men being better than women is not too rampant. She further encourages women to be more creative in whatever they do.

The Third Female Artists’ Exhibition was organized by the African Artist Foundation (AAF) as a platform to bring together women with one goal. It was started to give a voice to women artistically.



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