Un-veiling the underpinning of language at it pertain to matrimony .
RT: 2.00; Igbeyawo is an experimental short play dealing with the history, etymology, and culture surrounding marriage in Yoruba land.
2015. video featured in Art 21 platform exhibition, Trans-atlantic video exchange, Video Art Network Lagos, Fresh Milk
Igbeyawo means wedding in Yoruba, however etymology speaking, if you tear the word apart what you are saying is the 'carry into suffering'. All joking aside, there is a active acknowledgment that the coming together, a marriage, can often spell tragedy for one party in yoruba land, and unfortunately, that more likely will be the female- for a variety of reasons including societal limitation in work, agency, and authority.
Still yet, marriage is seen as something(the only thing) to which a woman should aspire. A marriage is more that likely the biggest festivity of a woman's life second only to the birth of a (male) child.
In Lagos, we love a good party and one of our most infamous one is the spectacular Eyo festival. The festival understood to be a celebration that commemorates a tragedy, death. The Eyo, an orisha, escorts a popular community figure to the afterlife.
I wondered, how did the Orisha first come to Lagos? Though the accounts are disputed, it is understood that Eyo came to Lagos as a wedding present as an Igebu princess married the then Oba. The Eyo, a marker of Death, is a wedding gift! The irony (or lack there of) cannot be missed.
In this video I play with this history, as a larger conversation about the black women's role in society. She is meet with by seeming immutable super entity, that is forcing her to dance even is the face of a tragic and unwanted union.