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Aso Ebi: Fractured Materiality and the Political Economy of Intimacy
September 29, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Hosted by Jacqueline-Bethel Mougoué
This talk examines how the material and visual culture of aso ebi uniformed fashion are part of urban life in Lagos, Nigeria. Ebi asks: is there an implicit discord embodied in aso ebi’s messages of uniformity? To answer this question, Ebi scrutinizes the issue of “oneness” that aso ebi wearers profess. Ebi examines how this oneness manifests itself through the artificial material signifier of uniforms (aso ebi) among people of different cultural, ideological, and political affiliations. Ebi illustrates how individuals have influenced the spirit of aso ebi’s solidarity; many now view the uniform as shallow, bodily attire. As this talk will demonstrate, references to the politics of exclusion/inclusion have powerfully shaped the social and cultural valences of aso ebi as a visual gesture of group conviviality and oneness.