Creative collaborattion and Cooperation

Paul HETHERINGTON, Bambo Soyinka

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    Paul Hetherington interviewed Bambo Soyinka in October 2013 about her artistic identity, her collaborative and cooperative creative practice and her work in communities. Paul picked up the conversation with Bambo again in 2016 following her appointment as Creative Director for Paper Nations.
    Paul Hetherington: I thought I’d start by asking you about your background and influences. Where were you born and what led you into your creative practice?
    Bambo Soyinka: I was born in Nottingham in the UK, in the Midlands, but I lived in Nigeria for the first four years of my life—on a university campus village. The university had a thriving arts culture. There was a constant influx of visiting academics, artist and actors from around the world. The families lived in the campus village and made an active contribution to University life. I don’t remember much of it but the experience of living in a vibrant university village stayed in my emotional memory.
    Although I felt at home on campus, I was sometimes looked on as an outsider, a European. Other kids would point at me and call me ‘Oyibo’, which means pale face. We moved back to England permanently when I was four. I spent most of my youth living in a small mining village. As in Nigeria, kids would sometimes point at me, this time highlighting my dark skin and thick hair.
    But, my enduring childhood memory is that of community. I’ve been fortunate to experience the value of living in several close-knit villages. In, Calverton, the English village where I grew up, people tended to stick together and helped each other to get through hard times.
    I’ve always been drawn to the arts, but there was a period in my life when I tried to follow a more conventional career. I returned to the arts because I enjoy this way of living so much.
    As for creativity, what that is … well that’s a difficult question to answer.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalAxon: Creative Explorations
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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