Oluremi C. Onabanjo’s article, “The Conditions of the Archive: Marilyn Nance and FESTAC 77,” will examine the archive of photographer Marilyn Nance, who chronicled the 1977 Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in Lagos, Nigeria. Situating Nance’s FESTAC photographs in relation to discourses of the Black Atlantic and the US Black Arts Movement, Onabanjo will provide a series of entry-points through which to consider the fleeting promise of pan-Africanism in postcolonial Africa. Studying how aspects of Nance’s archive have been constructed, maintained, and circulated, the article will attend to the conditions that inform Nance’s images themselves, such as Black liberation, celebration, and collectivity. 

Oluremi C. Onabanjo is a curator and scholar of photography and the arts of Africa. Her writing appears in Aperture, Autograph ABPThe New Yorker, The Photobook ReviewTate Etc. and in publications supported by The Museum of Modern Art, RISD Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem. The former Director of Exhibitions and Collections for The Walther Collection, Onabanjo has organized exhibitions in Europe, North America, and Africa. She lectures internationally on photography and curatorial practice, and in 2019 was a Visiting Critic in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania.