The Colonizer’s Archive is a Crooked Finger: A Photo Essay
“Colonial photography perpetually assaulted what became the Nigerian body.”
As strangers, we are bound to a collective fate. The world is a storehouse for all the names and gestures we share. Occasionally it stretches beyond its bounds. My future replaced your past; my present is backdated until yours arrives. Time is shuffled.
you have cut short your lifeI received an assignment from God!
What I know about the dead, I imagine.
All those to whom I entrust the meaning of my life, its promise, its secret ambitions and unnamable longings: They are contraband. I smuggle them into my heart, my hands folded in prayer: “Stay with me.”
in spite of
Lovers know this, but often need to be reminded: No desire is misplaced. As a river knows itself a tributary, so desire travels, surrendering, undulating.
What I know of the dead, I imagine.
Emmanuel Iduma, born and raised in Nigeria, is the author of The Sound of Things to Come. He co-edited Gambit: Newer African Writing. His essays on art and photography have been published widely. He is editor of Saraba Magazine, and a faculty member of the MFA Art Writing program at the School of Visual Arts, New York. His travelogue, A Stranger's Pose, is forthcoming in 2018.
More in this series
Inside his sewing box was an old girlfriend’s felt heart, stuck with pins. Throw it out, he says. I don’t.