Uzoma Orju is a creative technologist and visual artist from Owerri, Nigeria.
As a technologist he designs human-centred digital experiences that bring the arts and tech into the same conversation. As an artist he observes and then creates representations of society and of history; visual metaphors that explain his millennial Igbo Nigerian cultural context and the cultural environment he hopes to one day live in.
Orju’s recent work, Baptism of an Igbo Man, uses photography, installation and Virtual Reality to reflect on post-colonial belief and ways of seeing. It presents the emergence of Christianity in Igboland as the source of the disruption of African belief systems in the colonial context.
While Christian missionaries sought to produce a “new man” born in a new faith, the early Igbo clergyman became a split personality – one who could neither totally return to the old nor firmly be rooted in the new. What were the wider socio-cultural implications of the emergence of Christians and Christianity in Igboland and across Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?
How does the altering, disruption and destruction of belief systems factor into the wider conversation around post-colonial identity and the phenomenon of being culturally split?
Orju lives and works in Abuja.