Musings on the modern and contemporary visual culture of the African Diaspora.

Dàfe Oboro: The Young Nigerian Filmmaker You Need to Know

Dàfe Oboro: The Young Nigerian Filmmaker You Need to Know

Above: Image courtesy of A Nasty Boy Magazine

Dàfe Oboro is a 22-year old documentary filmmaker and photojournalist exploring contemporary life in Lagos, Nigeria. He recently earned a broadcast journalism degree from Nottingham Trent University and, over the course of seven months, produced a documentary that focused on the inhumanity of slum demolition in Nigeria and beyond. In 2016 the film titled, Slum Dwellers: Not Dead, Not Living, was named as runner up for the Amnesty Media Awards UK for the short documentary category. Later that year it was awarded best documentary at the Nottingham Micro Film Festival. Oboro worked on a recent collaboration between photographer Nadine Ijewere, stylist Ibrahim Kamara and designer Stella McCartney as well as the emerging Nigerian designer Mowalola Ogunlesi, among others.

A recent short film titled, Boy, You’re Beautiful, presents vignettes of different men from Lagos, speaking about their self-image and the concept of beauty. Oboro creates a lush and layered depiction of these men as they talk about their physical and emotional selves and what they understand as beautiful. Soft-focus close ups are juxtaposed against the harsh background noise of the city and shots of the bustling streets on Lagos; at one point, music plays quietly from a phone off screen. An exciting project for the newly established DÀFE, this short film takes on an loose visual narrative, with the subject of masculine beauty and intimacy as the focus.

Similar themes are the focal point of a short film, titled Kilón Shélé Gán Gán, produced for the up-and-coming designer, Mowalola Ogunlesi to showcase her Central Saint Martins graduate collection. The collection is  inspired by the futuristic Nigerian psychedelic rock scene of the 70s and 80s. It seeks to challenge images of heteronormative masculinity through scenes of intimacy, expressions of sexuality and self-fashioning. The neon palette of the leather-clad models is somehow perfectly situated against the industrial grind of the city and the softness of the seascapes. This inventive project feels like a force pulling in two different directions, suspending its subjects in a palpable tension. Oboro’s richly layered short films continue to expand on typical depictions of masculinity in fashion and beyond, to explore masculinity through a lens of self-reflection and intimacy, not altogether soft-focused and refined, but contradictory and expressive.

You can donate to this Kickstarter for his Film Company, DÁFE.

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