Slashed By Tia’s new campaign is inspired by her country, Nigeria, and Fela Kuti
“When I was younger, my older brother was obsessed with Fela Kuti (1938-97) – he ironically died the year I was born.
My brother would watch his performances and interviews for hours during the weekend. When I came home from school, I often watched with him. I was not only inspired by Fela himself, but was also inspired by his Kalakuta queens. His performances were never complete without them.
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The Kalakuta queens were so majestic, yet so sensual and powerful. Their clothes were nothing short of extraordinary. The motions that the beads created were unmatched. Their execution was in reference to the rich and powerful continent that is Africa!
Fela and the Kalakuta queens greatly inspired my newest campaign video. This video is a way for me to bring awareness to the talent that stems from my country, Nigeria, while incorporating a contemporary art form.
There have recently been shows about Fela on Broadway, which are amazing, but I feel as though there should be more positive noise made about him. He broke boundaries in several aspects of life, particularly Nigerian politics at that time.
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Fela focused on taking down corruption and abuse of power. He showed true, human spirit, and encouraged Nigerians to stand up for their rights and speak up to power.
Fela was beaten, imprisoned, and harassed, yet he never gave up. This is the type of resilience young Africans need to embody. In my video, it was challenging, but rewarding, to be able to take ballet away from the sleepy calisthenics display of boredom (in my opinion) to 21st century electrifying Afrocentrism.
Check out the video below, inspired by Fela, featuring my own personal designs.”
Slashed By Tia
Dancer: Quinn Quitan
Videographer: Chris Vongsawat
Makeup: Rhythmn Ogawa-Goodman
Clothing: Slashed By Tia